Focus Designer https://focusdesigner.com Online Magazine for Web Designers Fri, 18 May 2018 18:27:13 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.6 Introduction to Typography in Web Design https://focusdesigner.com/introduction-typography-web-design/ https://focusdesigner.com/introduction-typography-web-design/#respond Sun, 12 Mar 2017 23:47:19 +0000 https://focusdesigner.com/?p=4679 In any layout, whether in print or on the web, typography is critical to the overall design of the piece. Selection of the appropriate fonts, sizes and colors can make or break a design, not to mention enhance or decrease its clarity. Typography is a highly detailed subject, but there are some basic fundamental concepts […]

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In any layout, whether in print or on the web, typography is critical to the overall design of the piece. Selection of the appropriate fonts, sizes and colors can make or break a design, not to mention enhance or decrease its clarity. Typography is a highly detailed subject, but there are some basic fundamental concepts that can be learned quite quickly and applied to website design immediately.

The Main Categories of Fonts

There are literally thousands of fonts available to use today. Remarkably, around 20 years or so ago, there were less than 300. Thankfully, in web design, there are only a certain number of fonts available that you can be sure that will display on most people’s machines. Most computers have a basic number of common fonts, though others can be downloaded & installed manually.

The main font categories you really need to know in web design are as follows:

Serif – These are fonts with a little tail on the end of certain characters. They are also characterized by having thin thick transitions on other characters such as the letters ‘e’, or ‘o’. Furthermore, these transitions are normally at an angle. Times New Roman is a typical default font that exists on pretty much every computer.

Sans serif – Sans is the French word for ‘without’, so these are fonts without those little tails on the tips of characters. A typical example of a serif font is Arial.

Script – These fonts tend to be quite fancy, and as such should be used with care. They are often akin to joined up writing, and therefore would be quite difficult to read in blocks of text.

Decorative – Like script, and should never be used in blocks of text as they will be hard to read. These fonts are normally very creative in design and would be good to use as headlines or in logos but never as body text.

Font Families to Use in Web Design

In web design software such as Dreamweaver, you may choose a set of font families within your web page design. What these do is to set an order of preference based on the viewer’s machine. So for example, you could choose the font family of ‘Verdana, Geneva, Sans Serif’. What this does is set the page font to Verdana as default. If the viewing machine does not have this font, then it will use Geneva to substitute. If this font also isn’t available, then it will choose another sans serif font that is installed to display the text.

There are many font families that can be used in this way. Typically, the best fonts to use on a computer monitor are those fonts which are the names of cities. So fonts such as Georgia, Helvetica, New York, Monaco and so on are some of the best to use.

Serif or Sans Serif?

Serif fonts tend to be best to use in long chunks of text. Look in any book or newspaper, a serif font tends to be used most often. However, sans serif fonts can also be fine to use, but it really depends on the context of the web site. Be conscious of what you choose and ensure that the font choice you make does match your web design.

Concordant, Conflicting & Contrasting Fonts

In general terms, you should never use more than two fonts on a layout. It becomes very confusing to the eye. You should also be very aware of concordant, conflicting and contrasting fonts.

Concordant fonts occur if you use only one family without much variance on the style, shape or size. The effect is quiet and rather sedate, and most likely quite dull.

Conflicting fonts occur when you combine two typefaces which are similar, but they become disturbing because the visual attractions are not concordant, but not really different (or contrasting) either.

Contrasting fonts is really what you want to aim for. These give a strong dynamic look to the page and also make bolder statements. So you may choose to use a sans serif font for headers, with a serif font for the content. This looks and works best.

The subject of typography is immense, but basically you should aim to set your font families to best match your page design, and then choose only two fonts which contrast well to one another to produce an effective and strong layout. You should also choose your colors wisely and contrast these well to their backgrounds so they can be seen easily, but that is a topic for another article. Most importantly of all, your content should be easy to read, contrast well and invite the viewer to want to read more.

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Understanding The Basics of Effective Email Marketing https://focusdesigner.com/understanding-the-basics-of-effective-email-marketing/ https://focusdesigner.com/understanding-the-basics-of-effective-email-marketing/#respond Thu, 28 Jan 2016 17:24:15 +0000 https://focusdesigner.com/?p=4672 The email offer whets the customer’s appetite enough to where they will click through to your sales page to get more complete information. On the sales page you can be as verbose as you want without being overly repetitive. The sales page must offer the complete information including the price, incentive, guarantee, warranty, etc. Let’s […]

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The email offer whets the customer’s appetite enough to where they will click through to your sales page to get more complete information. On the sales page you can be as verbose as you want without being overly repetitive. The sales page must offer the complete information including the price, incentive, guarantee, warranty, etc.

Let’s look at four crucial strategies to turn up your email heat.

1.Handling Unsubscribes

Unsubscribes aren’t a bad thing at all; It means your subscribers are prequalifying themselves so that what you’re left with are the more highly responsive members more likely to buy. You won’t be wasting your time with what car salesmen call “tire kickers” – those who make noises like they’re going to buy, demand concessions, ask endless questions… but never, ever close the deal.

However, if you’re getting more unsubscribes than sales, it may be a tipoff that you don’t know your subscribers as well as you should… or that you’ve been taking facts for granted that actually don’t apply.

Let’s run a quick checklist on the basics… Have you recently surveyed your target market to find out:

1. What they need
2. What they’re missing
3. What they associate you with
4. If they remember who you are
5. If they read your emails – and why
6. If they don’t read your emails – and why
7. What they wish you’d provide
8. Whether or not they’d be interested in helping you serve them by answering a more focused survey

2. Hot Response Survey

When you survey your readers, try to do it through an email first and see what response you actually do get.

Then write a short post about your survey on your blog, with links. (You can host it on a free survey creation site such as SurveyMonkey.) Drive people to it through your social networks and forums you belong to, for additional input.

To take it up a notch, use one of the Facebook poll apps and repeat your poll on Facebook.

There are a few key points to remember in order to make this an exercise that connects you with your readers, rather than annoying them or leaving them indifferent:

1. Keep the focus on your subscriber – with every single word. This survey isn’t about “how you, the subscriber, can help me, me, me”; it’s all about “what can I do to make your life easier? I’m really listening to you!”

2. Don’t ask more than 10 questions in this first survey, absolute maximum. (5 are best.)

3. Make it as easy as possible for your subscriber or respondent to answer. (By all means include an opt-in box, if you’re sending this to the general public — but make it optional.)
And, to cement that strong connection you want, this last, upcoming point is the most important one of all…

4. Send them a “thank you” email (if they’re a member of your list or have provided a contact email)… containing an unannounced, high-value bonus.This doesn’t have to be a 50-page eBook or complete set of CD’s – it can be as simple as:

• A handy template
• A useful checklist
• A list of 10 invaluable resource links not commonly knownResist the temptation to invite people to sign up in order to get your unannounced bonus – keep it as a genuine “thank you” surprise for those who are genuinely interested, and you’ll gain a much tighter group of pre-qualified, loyal, potential buyers… who will certainly not forget your name in a hurry!

3. Splitting Your List

If your subscriber base is approaching or past four digits, consider creating more than one list. The more subscribers you gain, you’re more likely to pick up ones interested in slightly different areas of your services or products. Splitting your lists into more tightly-focused ones allows you to:

1. Not annoy, bore or distract subscribers interested in “group X” issues with information better suited to “group Y”

2. Up the chances that your emails will actually be opened

It’s worth noting one other quirk of human behaviour; people who decide not to open two or three of your emails are creating a habit – the habit of ignoring your emails!

And all it takes is the memory of one annoying or boring email, before they start doing this. Putting them on a more focused list can help decrease or eliminate that potential “gap”.

Use Joint Venture Partners

Approach a super-affiliate (not necessarily yours, yet). Offer them a higher-than-normal conversion rate in exchange for reviewing and promoting your product. Make it easy for them by providing them with their own already-set-up affiliate resources and a personal direct download page, so they can pick up and review your product at their own pace.

Often, if you show you know what you’re doing and make it easy to at least check out your product (attracted by that flattering, especially high conversion payout) the super-affiliate will capture you many more leads and sales by sending out their own power-packing emails, while you’re busy working on your next set of auto responder messages.

And of course you’re doing everything else you can to boost your visibility, credibility and response rates, including:

  • PPL (pay per lead) or PPC (pay per click) advertising campaigns based around a single, long-tailed keyword
  • Low-cost e-zine advertising – if you choose the right e-zine, this can be a particularly powerful tool, making use of someone else’s list
  • Social networking buzz creation (Facebook, Twitter)
  • Social bookmarking (StumbleUpon, Digg, Reddit, Delicious)
  • YouTube video creation – this can be another great buzz-maker.
  • SEO (it still counts!)
  • Forum Special Offers
  • Article Marketing
  • Press ReleasesSo what’s the major reason you’re doing all this, instead of relying solely on your emails (however hot you can mix the sauce)? It’s simple. Have you ever received an email in your inbox from someone who’s acting like they know you… usually saying something along the lines of:

“Tara, It’s Your Turn to Grab my System!” from Joe Q. Weeble.

You stare at the email, look at the name of the sender and mutter: “Who in tarnation is Joe Q. Weeble?” Then you hit delete, half-convinced it must be spam, because you’d remember a guy with a name like that if you’d signed up for his list… and you don’t remember him.

You see, you can target your emails as perfectly as pie… but if you don’t have the social proof and relationship behind you – if your subscribers don’t remember your name, or (worse) get you mixed up with that other guy who “shouts” in caps all the time and tries to sell outdated resale material… your hot response emails are never going to be read.

It’s not enough to streamline your targeting. Make sure you also streamline and coordinate your promotion too. That’s the single, most crucial piece of the email streamlining puzzle that people often overlook.

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Website Usability Tips https://focusdesigner.com/website-usability-tips/ https://focusdesigner.com/website-usability-tips/#respond Wed, 29 Apr 2015 23:43:52 +0000 https://focusdesigner.com/?p=512 Website usability is very important for any website. Clients should have an easy, quick and pleasant access to your material. This is important in ensuring that your customers remain loyal without finding alternative sources. To achieve the above, these factors should be put into consideration while designing your website; Accessibility A client should be able […]

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Website usability is very important for any website. Clients should have an easy, quick and pleasant access to your material. This is important in ensuring that your customers remain loyal without finding alternative sources. To achieve the above, these factors should be put into consideration while designing your website;

Accessibility

A client should be able to access any information they need from your website. You have to keep in mind;

  • The load time: You have to make sure that the time taken for material to load is very minimal so that time is not wasted. If it takes a lot of time to load, be sure many people will just find alternatives.
  • Font size: There are different options in the font sizes you can use for your website. Ensure that the materials are very easy to read and that you do not use very large font sizes.
  • Custom pages: Create custom pages especially the 404 error page so that your client is led to alternative sources if what they need is not found.

In addition to the above, enhance the text to background contrast and ensure that the add-ons are used minimally.

Ease of identification

Make sure there are straight answers for questions from clients especially if they want to know your identity. To improve on identification, ensure;

  • Your logo is uniquely placed: The best place to keep your logo is in the upper left part of the screen.
  • The home page is quick to comprehend: The home page must have components such as the menu placed below the logo or at right hand side, the search bar on the left or upper right side with help areas that are quick to be obtained.
  • The contact and company information are easy to find: Having contact information is vital in case a client wants to get back to you to report a problem or a commendation. This will help in improving your customer care services.
  • Group forms flow: Each field has to have a title explaining what the field is for.

Ease of navigation

Clients will always ask for clear routes to the information they are looking for. The basics of navigation should include;

  • Using excellent title tags: These carry the definition of the document title and are essential for all the HTML and XHTML web pages. For example use the format; Brand name – primary keyword and the secondary keyword. These should be less than 70 characters.
  • Having less links as possible that are dependable and simple to identify: The blue links are the most common. You should also consider making your links underlined, conspicuous and less destructing to the flow of the content.
  • Clear and precise navigation labels: They should be small, on the spot and simple for visitors to comprehend.

The content

You have to ensure that there is space between the text and the images to enhance readability; there are little or no splash pages and that the animations are very minimal. The key headings have to be clear and for the benefit of SEO, they should have tags.

The style in which the information is presented has to be uniform to avoid confusing clients; colors have to have equal sense while the layout and headings have to be consistent.

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Tips to Increase Traffic to Your Website https://focusdesigner.com/tips-to-increase-traffic-to-your-website/ https://focusdesigner.com/tips-to-increase-traffic-to-your-website/#comments Fri, 24 Apr 2015 03:25:54 +0000 https://focusdesigner.com/?p=195 Everyone that has a website wants traffic. That seems to be one of the main problems for website owners. This article shows numerous ways for you to acquire high-targeted visitors to your sites. How to Get Started With Website Traffic From the beginning you must make sure that your website is indexed with the major […]

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Everyone that has a website wants traffic. That seems to be one of the main problems for website owners. This article shows numerous ways for you to acquire high-targeted visitors to your sites.

How to Get Started With Website Traffic

From the beginning you must make sure that your website is indexed with the major search engines such as Google, Bing, Yahoo! and at least several of the minor search engines. This will ensure you get natural traffic through search queries. It may seem basic, but it is surprising how many website owners have not taken the time to do this.

To accomplish this, you should do the following before you proceed with any of the other traffic methods:

Ensure your website is ready to be seen by the public. Although this may sound easy enough, in actuality it is an intricate process and will require you to check your entire website to see if any of the links are broken or if enough unique content is available on the website to make it worth being indexed. With too many broken links on your website, even links to content within your own pages, search engines such as Google will not be able to correctly index your site. This will make your site seem invisible for those who are searching for keywords that would have otherwise directed them to you. Having unique content is important for two main reasons. Search engines frown on duplicate content becoming indexed within their listings. Another important fact is that people want to see something new they have not seen before. It is not unusual to have people ignore listings that have the same content as other sites on a search engine query.

Making use of Article Marketing

Website traffic takes some real work to get flowing for any website. It is generally simple enough for anyone to do that has the drive and willingness to put in the effort. There are a number of ways to achieve increased traffic. One of the most important methods is article marketing. Done correctly, this can greatly enhance the visibility of your website.

Article marketing is the use of strategically placed articles on various high traffic websites in return for a link back to your site. This method is also used to promote products or services that are separate from what is offered at your website. The basic concept is to write articles and get them listed on numerous article directories that allow you to link back to your website.

Taking advantage of article marketing is an approachable option that creates additional traffic back to your site, adds more value to the search engines and builds the reputation of your business. The best article directories have good ranking with the search engines and they receive large amounts of unique visitors on a daily basis, giving you a variety of ways to reach potential customers. Search engines consider article directories as authority websites and give them preference in their listings. They are going to receive more traffic with any specific searches. Any articles listed on these sites benefit the author by providing additional ranking weight as well as traffic from article readers.

Networking and Social Media

If you are looking for a relatively fast method of gaining traffic, networking and social media are critical aspects of your websites continued growth. Both networking and social media are simple concepts. They encourage growth and connections with more people that will eventually branch out by association when you are using best practices for these methods. Networking works by allowing people with similar interests to learn more about you or your business, website, and content. Social media allows you to share information via high traffic media sites.

Why is social media important? This is a very common question which can be answered with the definitions of the component words. “Social” means to publicize and intermingle and “media” is any form of imagery, sound, and conceptive medium possible that can be transmitted. Social media is basically the sharing of information between people, business partners, friends, family and anyone else that is interested in what is being offered.

Advantages of Social Bookmarking

What is social bookmarking? Social bookmarking is basically a specialized method of sharing links to interesting content on the internet. Many websites have specialized in becoming social bookmarking websites. These websites make it possible to gain interest in certain topics within a very short time span. One of the biggest effects of social bookmarking is large amounts of traffic in a short period of time.

Social bookmarking allows people with similar interests to share links to pages on the internet which will play upon those interests. This makes it possible to create a simple yet effective boost in website traffic with almost immediate results. The main thing that may be difficult to establish with social bookmarking websites is credibility. Users that are well known are able to control the audience the easiest and get them to visit links easier.

Deployment of Email Marketing

Email marketing is a successful tool to get website traffic quickly and consistently. Unfortunately, this can first take some time to establish before the real effects of the marketing work for you. The best way to take advantage of email marketing is starting an email marketing campaign then slowly building on top of it to get your website more traffic.

How does email marketing work? This is the real question that needs to be answered before someone thinks they can just start sending unsolicited emails (SPAM). Email marketing is a very simple concept in which people decide to join a mailing list then they are sent emails about important information, newsletters and offers. The main difference between this and SPAM is the fact that the user is asked to receive these solicited emails in advance.

Once the users have subscribed to this list, they can be sent messages about anything, as long as they consented to it in advance. One of the best things about mailing lists is the fact that many of them are designed to be able to share email addresses with associates, meaning that you may be able to obtain a premade list you could use to pitch your website out to them. Of course this is not always the case and you may be required to pay for such a list. This does not make you an associate of the original list bearer, just a customer or paid advertiser even though you are not advertising.

One of the ways that email marketing works is by having messages sent daily, weekly or any other interval in order to help remind the email account owner about what is going on with your website. One way to efficiently accomplish this is to make use of an email pusher or auto responder.

Tips for Using Blogs as a Traffic Source

Blogs are one of the resources which are free or very cheap to set up. These services are one of the essential traffic sources providing increased exposure to websites. Well established blogs can also be an important resource for creating large amounts of traffic with some simple concepts.

The most common option is to create a blog with an existing popular blog service and keep it updated. The blog can be anything relating to the business, products or services highlighted on your website. You need to ensure that the blog is related to the niche of your website so that the content is mutually beneficial. The more information that is placed on these blogs in regard to the niche, the more can be indexed into search engines thereby helping route more common niche specific searches to the blogs and create a substantial route of traffic to your website. Any time you create a blog that becomes established and use the site to create links that track back to your website and other related websites, you help to improve the ranking of the website on search engines. The links also help route traffic which moves directly between websites.

Joining Link Wheels

Creating a link wheel is a very effective strategy to improve search engine visibility and traffic flow to your website. A link wheel is designed to use the power of Web 2.0 based websites capable of interacting with search engines in a positive and direct manner. In conjunction with attaching your website to these sites through links, you increase the visibility of your website while simultaneously increasing the visibility for the niche that you have chosen. Google and other search engines are capable of interacting with their site content and will generally rank these content pieces well on their own due to the massive link weight that the services have. If you are able to interconnect your website in this wheel formation, between five to fifteen of these websites, you will see a larger increase in traffic as well as a major search engine boost. This will help rank you higher than most of your competitors that go without the link wheel strategy.

Distributing Press Releases

It is a great idea to write a press release when your website is going to have a special event or simply to let the world know that your website is out and available to be browsed. It is important to look into other types of press releases to get inspiration on how to write one that is exciting and informative to the public. Choosing an option that will give the biggest impact is the best practice for this.

How Press Releases Benefit Website Traffic

The concept of the Press Release is not new. Its sole intention is to provide notice about something that is worth noting in the news. This will help to reach new audiences as media outlets begin to pick up on your announcement. A Press Release provides information about a business and contact information making it more convenient for anyone that is interested in the news to contact the website, business or entity. One of the most common practices for business owners online is to send out Press Releases to help increase awareness of an event that is going to be held at some point in the future.

For instance, during the 2012 US Presidential election, a supporter for the Republican Party may tweet “@BarackObama ww.republicansupportwebsite.com #badpresident” or a democratic supporter may do the opposite “@BarackObama www.democratsupportwebsite.com #greatestpresidentever.” This can work in almost any context as long as the website niche is represented well with the tag keywords.

Influencing Yahoo Answers

Yahoo Answers is a service that is offered by Yahoo where users in the community ask and answer questions. Users that answer questions are awarded points for giving the best possible answer either chosen by the asker or via voting.

Why Yahoo Answers is Useful?

There are several thousands of questions that are asked and answered on Yahoo Answers daily. The best way to get quick answers is to use this community due to the amount of community members willing to help, even if their information may be off. Users are asked to site the source where they get their information and this can be used by you to send people to your website. You can answer questions and cite your own website as the source.

First, the process is to look for questions that can be answered by something that is related to your website niche. If the user likes your answer, they will choose it and it will be displayed as the “best answer”. It can also be voted by other users to become the best answer chosen by other users. This is useful because anyone that searches the internet with a major search engine that has the same problem will be able load the question and see your answer and the link back to your website as the best answer. With time, you can answer a great deal of questions and continue to do so every so often to see a large influx in traffic that comes from Yahoo Answers.

Paid Advertising

Paid advertising is one of the things that you may be able to use to get some true exposure for your website traffic. The only drawback is the fact that it costs you money to continue pulling in traffic. The traffic that you pull into your website may also not stay long enough for their visit to really make a difference. This in turn would actually just cost you money rather than getting real traffic that are interested in purchasing your products or services.

You do not have to take advantage of all of these different types of website traffic options, especially if they are too difficult to implement. You only need to work on a few at a time. By monitoring the traffic that you are receiving, you can then drop or reduce efforts on the least effective methods. Then you can put your attention on the methods most effective in boosting website traffic the most.

With a combination of monitoring and focusing, you will be able to maximize your efforts in a way that you are able to get the most out of your website. The great thing about some of these methods is the fact that you do not necessarily have to do the bulk of the work. This saves you time and helps your website become one of the top visited sites in your website niche.

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Copywriting Mistakes to Avoid https://focusdesigner.com/copywriting-mistakes-to-avoid/ https://focusdesigner.com/copywriting-mistakes-to-avoid/#respond Mon, 23 Mar 2015 01:10:26 +0000 https://focusdesigner.com/?p=69 Everyone makes mistakes in their marketing career. This section aims to help you bypass the whole “experimental phase” and avoid the biggest mistakes ever made in copywriting. 1. Demonstrating value before selling Before you blast your subscribers with offers, you must always give them tons of free value and establish a genuine relationship with them. […]

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Everyone makes mistakes in their marketing career. This section aims to help you bypass the whole “experimental phase” and avoid the biggest mistakes ever made in copywriting.

1. Demonstrating value before selling

Before you blast your subscribers with offers, you must always give them tons of free value and establish a genuine relationship with them.

2. Wrong text alignment

As a general rule of thumb, words should always be aligned to the left, indented inside slightly and not have too long a word line. This is to prevent a break in the continuity of your visitor’s reading flow. (From left to right)

Also, images should be used sparingly, only if it’s directly relevant to your sales copy and should be aligned to the center.

3. Sounding too formal

Let’s face it, if your pitch sounds too formal, you’ll come off as sounding like a sales robot. For goodness sake, throw in some human factor and speak with a casual tone. No one likes to be hard selled, so if you can connect with your readers in a more informal tone so that they can identify with you, you’ll be more likely to make that sale.

4. Wasting your reader’s time

Basically, to write a good copy, you should only be adding things which contribute to the sale and removing things which do not. Your reader’s attention is very precious so if you manage to catch their attention, make it count. Don’t bore them with useless stuff.

In short, if you avoid these mistakes and diligently practice copywriting methods as shown above, you’ll get better and better in no time and make more sales.

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Different types of online advertising https://focusdesigner.com/different-types-of-online-advertising/ https://focusdesigner.com/different-types-of-online-advertising/#comments Mon, 23 Feb 2015 00:54:21 +0000 https://focusdesigner.com/?p=58 Okay, so you’ve created an awesome website with an excellent user interface and lots of attractive graphics. You have an excellent product or service that is in demand in the marketplace, and you’ve set a reasonable price that should lead to lots of sales. That’s all fine and dandy, but the truth is that your […]

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Okay, so you’ve created an awesome website with an excellent user interface and lots of attractive graphics. You have an excellent product or service that is in demand in the marketplace, and you’ve set a reasonable price that should lead to lots of sales. That’s all fine and dandy, but the truth is that your business isn’t going anywhere unless you can generate consistently high volumes of traffic to your websites over time.

Even though there are many free methods that you can use to drive traffic, it’s hard to beat the speed and ease of using a paid advertising campaign. As long as you have a reasonable budget and are willing to go through a learning curve, you’re ready to check out these four major options for paid online advertising.

Google AdWords (Pay-per-click Advertising)

Pay per click advertising is an excellent alternative for companies who have the financial resources and can make an investment in order to bring targeted traffic to their websites. Like SEO traffic, AdWords is considered targeted because people are actually typing in keyword phrases that are relevant to your products and services before clicking on your advertisement. This can bring a flood of traffic to your online business very quickly, and this is an excellent choice as long as you’re able to turn a profit.

That’s where the problem usually lies for small companies who are inexperienced with this form of advertising. There is a lot of competition in pay per click campaigns these days, and it is very easy to waste a great deal of money if you don’t have the experience. Many e-commerce stores get wrapped up in bidding wars that cost product margins to drop substantially. Therefore, if you’re going to give this form of advertising a try, just make sure that you take an excellent training course and be ready to invest some money in the beginning while you figure out the entire process.

Banner Advertising

This form of online advertising is even older than the search engines themselves, and the concept is pretty simple. You simply put some sort of banner (usually with a catchy image and headline) on a relevant website. Users who choose to click the banners will end up on your website and hopefully will make a purchase. The problem is that these days, web users have developed “banner blindness” so only a small percentage will actually click on your ad. With this in mind, you need to make sure that you’re not paying very much for your advertising, especially if you are paying a certain amount per impressions (impressions means that your ad would show up a certain number of times and you will get charged regardless of whether anyone actually clicks on your advertisement).

Newsletter Advertising

You can contact webmasters and email programs to ask them if they are willing to sell ad space in their newsletter or e-zine. This way you will have access to their subscribers and be able to reach them with a simple low cost advertisement. The ad can be something as simple as a text link that states your website is a sponsor of that publication. Generous newsletter publishers may allow you to have an entire page space on their sent publications to give you maximize exposure. This makes it much simpler to reach an audience that wants to read the email with your website content information included.

Affiliate Marketing

Whether you specialize in physical products or in digital information products like e-books and other courses, affiliate marketing is a great form of online advertising. The major advantage is that you don’t actually have to pay your affiliates a commission until the sale is made. If you do a good job of promoting your affiliate program in the appropriate marketplaces, then these affiliates can do most of the legwork for you like writing articles, using pay per click advertising themselves, and ultimately driving traffic to your product in any number of ways.

Unfortunately, there are still many website owners outside of traditional Internet marketing who are not familiar with the concept of affiliate commissions and may think there is something shady going on. So you simply have to be a salesperson and convince people that your affiliate program is legitimate and profitable. You also have to make sure to choose an excellent network such as Clickbank or Paydotcom.

Social Media

Have you heard of Facebook? Of course you have. What you may not realize is that social media can be used as a form of online advertising, and Facebook ads are excellent examples. At the same time, however, you have to realize that most people are simply using these social networks to hang out with their friends and engaging in entertainment and conversations. Major companies are already expressing doubts about the efficacy of social media marketing campaigns. There are now entire books being written about social media ROI (return on investment), so this tells you that you need to be careful not to waste a lot of time in busy work without evaluating the results.

However Facebook does have its advantages as it uses an advertising system that is very simple to implement and offers a wide scope of coverage in the Facebook website. Only Facebook users that are within the specific demographic you choose will be able to see the advertising. This helps to narrow down who sees advertising so you are not wasting your money on people who are not going to be interested in what your website has to offer.

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Top 10 Premium WordPress Themes https://focusdesigner.com/top-10-premium-wordpress-themes/ https://focusdesigner.com/top-10-premium-wordpress-themes/#comments Sun, 01 Feb 2015 17:45:13 +0000 https://focusdesigner.com/?p=418 Below are our choice of the top 10 most popular premium wordpress themes from Envato’s marketplace ‘Themeforest‘. Each link will send you to ‘Themeforest‘ where you can view a live preview or purchase these great themes. Leave a comment on any other great themes you think we should feature. 1. U-Design – Internq7 2. Striking – Kaptinlin […]

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Below are our choice of the top 10 most popular premium wordpress themes from Envato’s marketplace ‘Themeforest‘. Each link will send you to ‘Themeforest‘ where you can view a live preview or purchase these great themes. Leave a comment on any other great themes you think we should feature.

1. U-Design – Internq7

2. Striking – Kaptinlin

3. Karma – TrueThemes

4. inFocus – Webtreats

5. King Size – Denoizzed

6. Dandelion – Pexeto

7. Modernize – GoodLayers

8. Core – Peerapong

9. DynamiX – NorthVantage

10. Display – Kriesi

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Custom Error Pages https://focusdesigner.com/custom-error-pages/ https://focusdesigner.com/custom-error-pages/#respond Sun, 21 Dec 2014 00:49:37 +0000 https://focusdesigner.com/?p=50 Custom Error pages are web pages revealed to the website guest when something is erroneous with the web page requested. They also show when a server error has happened. Each website has a custom error page. The error can be brought about by different things. The most common error pages encountered are; 404 not found […]

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Custom Error pages are web pages revealed to the website guest when something is erroneous with the web page requested. They also show when a server error has happened. Each website has a custom error page. The error can be brought about by different things. The most common error pages encountered are;

  1. 404 not found – This denotes that a web page cannot be found on the web server and is caused by various factors such as:
    • Clicking a link to a non-existing page.
    • Typing the wrong URL of a webpage.
    • A webpage that has been detached or renamed.
  2. 500 internal error – This means that there is a problem with the web server hence it can’t process the request.
  3. 403 forbidden – This custom page indicates that you are not permitted to view the page requested.

These webpage’s can be added through various ways that may include the following steps:

Step 1. Creating the .htaccess File

This stage might not be essential in all cases. One has to confer with the web hosting documentation as to the identification principle they should use. To create the .htaccess file, open notepad or another text editor and create a new file. Name this file .htaccess and click save as, when it asks for file type click on ‘all file types’. In this file simply add:

ErrorDocument 404 /404.html

Once added, save this file, what this does is point any pages that would normally create a 404 error page and point to the 404.html page that you will create.

Step 2. Creating the Error Page

A very simple sample model of the contents of a 404.html file might be:

         

	  <!—- Logo & Navigation -->

404 Error – Page Not Found

We are sorry but the page you are looking for doesn’t exist.

Step 3. What your error document should include

This aims at informing the web users on how they can locate the document they want so as not to leave the website. These pages should have:

A link to the main page where the guest can find what they want.

A search box on the page in case there is a search engine for your website.

All the pages on the website should have a link on the sitemap.

Commonly mistyped URLs on the website can have links to the approved site on the page, so that guests can promptly get to the right page.

Navigational aids should be put here.

A contact form (or link to) so the guest can alert you of the error.

The purpose of this page is to ensure your guest does not exit your site if what they need can be found there. The 404 pages should be bigger than 512 bytes or else Internet Explorer (IE) will load what its built-in “pleasant HTTP error message” as a replacement for of your 404 page. However, if using WordPress you shouldn’t have a lot of difficulty with page size.

Step 4. Testing the Error Document

Satisfaction with your webpage requires that you upload it with the .htaccess file to the website and put to test by typing a URL that is not real. The error page should show up and from here on the links to the various pages are tested if they lead to the intended sites.

With the custom error pages; one has to…

Avoid Putting the wrong URL in the .htaccess file as it directs the webserver into a loop when the absent file is being accessed.

Be sure that they use the full URL and not a comparative link.

For maximum benefits, the Web Pages should have quality components some of which should include:

Unique – The page should be unique without generic images and should avoid bad jokes that do not make sense. Bad jokes and generic images turn away visitors.

Branding – The same branding should be kept while introducing appealing graphics that keep the visitor interested. Too frequently designers and webmasters go overboard and mislay the appearance of the innovative theme, devastating the visitor. Keeping the same theme maintains the brand of the website.

Apologetic – This is in keeping the gracious atmosphere with the client as they have not got the information they try to reach.

The custom pages are important in keeping the guest interested even if the page is not found.

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Increase Traffic Using Paid Advertising https://focusdesigner.com/increase-traffic-exposure-using-paid-advertising/ https://focusdesigner.com/increase-traffic-exposure-using-paid-advertising/#respond Sat, 08 Nov 2014 04:32:11 +0000 https://focusdesigner.com/?p=323 Before we jump in we would just like to say paid advertising can come in a wide variety of forms, some of which will be explained in this article, but for a full list please read our article on ‘Different types of online advertising’. Paid advertising is one of the things that you may be […]

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Before we jump in we would just like to say paid advertising can come in a wide variety of forms, some of which will be explained in this article, but for a full list please read our article on ‘Different types of online advertising’.

Paid advertising is one of the things that you may be able to use to get some true exposure for your website traffic. The only drawback is the fact that it costs you money to continue pulling in traffic. The traffic that you pull into your website may also not stay long enough for their visit to really make a difference. This in turn would actually just cost you money rather than getting real traffic which are interested in purchasing your products or services.

Although search engine optimization definitely has its advantages, it can take a very long time indeed for your company to see significant results. Not to mention, with all of the on-going changes in the search engine algorithms, there is no guarantee whatsoever that your website will remain high in the search engines even if you try to abide by Google’s terms of service.

Advertising on specific websites is also possible as long as you know what to look for. Many of the websites that are frequently used make use of advertising plans. One reason is to recover some of the costs they have to pay to maintain the website along with all of the resources for the website. One great example of this is Facebook.

When to Use Paid Advertising

Paid advertising is not for everybody, and those who do not know how to use it can charge up a storm on their credit cards. It is a hassle to control spending with advertising especially if you do not set boundaries for how much can be spent in any given time. Aside from that, paid advertising may be one of the options when the niche for your site is very obscure. You could easily use keywords that are similar but lower cost so that you are not charged too much if you do get a large influx of traffic.

Paid advertising should also be one of the last resorts unless you have access to a budget which can handle the way that AdSense users (and other program users) play the system to get more money with less work. This means you can possibly be charged for a view of an ad while the person never really loaded or completely loaded your website.

Regular Banner Advertisements

Low cost banner advertising is a common type of advertising that is still used throughout the web. It is important to take advantage of whatever is available in terms of low cost advertising because it will get views and traffic but without the risks of costing you an arm and a leg. Several large websites also offer advertising slots that allow you to place a direct ad into their web space. This ad space can gain serious attention from a large portion of the online community for that website. Many of the banner advertising plans will allow you to purchase a space for a certain time period where you get unlimited traffic that allows clicks on the ad between the time brackets.

Pay Visitors for Referrals with an Affiliate Program

A great alternative to encourage sales and website visitors is to create a special program allowing you to pay your visitors for referring people they know. To make them qualify they must sign up with opt in email lists and provide the specific referral code to count towards the referrer’s total. This can then be checked in the future to ensure that referrers can ask for compensation when they reach the minimum amount of referrals to get the money they earned. You can decide everything that you wish to allow for referral redemption. There are several methods of getting people to send referrals to get a good prize. Say 1000 referrals is equivalent to $10.00, it may take some time before someone can get that many referrals but it gives you time to capitalize on those referrals in order to be able to afford the cost of referrals.

In order to gauge the extent of your traffic boosting efforts, you need to make use of tracking and analytics tools to see where your traffic is coming from. This way you can see which of your efforts are making the biggest impact so that you can choose to focus on those options to increase traffic flow to your website.

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HTML Best Practices for Effective SEO https://focusdesigner.com/html-best-practices-for-effective-seo/ https://focusdesigner.com/html-best-practices-for-effective-seo/#respond Sun, 05 Oct 2014 00:46:19 +0000 https://focusdesigner.com/?p=288 The most important factor for determining your page rank in the search engine results pages (SERPs) is based on your HTML code. Let me say that again: your HTML code is the most important factor in your page’s rank, credibility, and potential to be searchable. With the right HTML code, your rank will soar. Following […]

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The most important factor for determining your page rank in the search engine results pages (SERPs) is based on your HTML code. Let me say that again: your HTML code is the most important factor in your page’s rank, credibility, and potential to be searchable. With the right HTML code, your rank will soar. Following are examples of codes for HTML best practices that must be practiced for good SERPs.

Page Titles

As far as HTML is concerned, the most important factor in SEO is the title of your page. The page title is the heading at the top of the browser window when people view a page, and it’s defined by the title element, or title tag, in the HTML of a page.

You probably don’t spend much time staring at the top of your browser window, so how could a page’s title matter so much? Page titles are crucial in SEO because they’re the biggest text in the SERPs.

Adding page titles to HTML code

You insert page titles into HTML in a title element within the head element, or head tag as shown below:


Here’s what a page title looks like in the context of a simple HTML page:

This is the body of the page.

Writing links

Links in HTML are fairly simple. You create them using the ‘a’ (which stands for anchor) tag. A link must contain at least one attribute, href, which represents the location of the link, or where the link is directed. Inside the opening and closing anchor tags, you can place the link text, or the text the site visitor clicks to activate the link.

Here’s what a link to www.google.com looks like in HTML code:

This is a link to Google

Understanding the link voting system

When spiders are crawling your pages, links on your pages act as votes for the pages to which they’re linked. This voting process connects a URL with keywords. For example, the following link tells spiders that http://www.amazon.com is a site that has something to do with the phrase “buy dvds” because of the link text:

Buy DVD’s

Links to your site are great, especially if the text used in the links from other sites includes keywords you want associated with your site.

Headings

Heading tags have six levels, starting with heading 1 (the h1 element, which is the largest) and ending with heading 6 (the h6 element, which is the smallest). Search engines put considerable weight on page headings that contain keywords, especially bigger headings such as ‘h1’ and ‘h2’. Smaller headings don’t have the same search value, but all headings can still provide a great way to group the information on your pages.

Creating heading elements

Adding a heading to an HTML file is pretty simple. You can add headings anywhere within the body element. Here’s what a heading 1 element looks like in HTML code:

Here’s a heading 1 heading

Emphasized Text

Emphasized text, or text within ‘i’ (italic) or ’em’ tags, gives a little boost as well if you wrap keywords in them. Both ‘i’ and ’em’ text carry the same weight in SEO. You don’t need to overuse these for SEO purposes (or overuse any HTML tags, for that matter), but they can help nonetheless.

Creating emphasized elements

Like ‘b’ and ‘strong’ elements, ‘i’ and ’em’ elements are easy to use. Simply wrap the text you want to emphasize in the proper opening and closing tags.

Here’s an example of using the ‘i’ tag in HTML:

This text is what? Italic

Here’s an example of the ’em’ tag:

This text is emphasized

Images

Include information about the images you place on your pages to improve SEO as well as accessibility on your site. The big secret in image SEO is the use of the alt attribute. The alt attribute, besides associating keywords with an image for SEO purposes, tells the browser what text to display (or read) if an image is not viewable.

NOTE: The alt text should contain keywords that are relevant to the image to be useful for SEO.

Images and the alt attribute in HTML

Images are fairly simple to use in HTML code, and they can be useful tools for SEO as well. You can connect keywords to images through filenames and the alt attribute. Simply use the tag and set the value of the src attribute to the path of the image file. Here’s an example of an image element in HTML, displaying a file called dog.jpg:


Here’s what an image reference with a connected keyword via the alt attribute looks like in HTML code:

Dog

Metadata

Metadata includes information about a web page, including its description and associated keywords. Early in the days of the Web, metadata was all the rage, and it was the most important part of SEO for a page. Today, metadata has somewhat lost its flair—especially keyword metadata. Even so, it’s best to include metadata on your pages, especially in the page description.

Using keyword metadata

Keyword metadata is a list of keywords to associate with your web page. Again, this is not the SEO powerhouse it used to be, but it can help a little. If you need keywords, you can use the keywords you’re already using in your site for SEO purposes.

NOTE: Google does not use meta keywords, but other popular search engines, such as Yahoo!, still claim to utilize them.

Keywords in HTML code

Adding metadata keywords to your HTML code, like just about everything else in HTML, is pretty straightforward. Simply insert atag inside thetag, use keywords as the value for the title attribute. Comma-separate your keywords in the content attribute. Here’s an example of keyword metadata in atag:


Consolidating URL’s

Currently, search engines may see https://focusdesigner.com (no www) and https://www.focusdesigner.com as two different sites. Because of that, your rankings could be split in half. To capture all the rankings and maintain them in one site, you can use some server-side code to direct all visits to display either the www (recommended) URL of your site or the non-www URL. The process varies a little depending on which server you’re using.

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