There’s an unusually high number of extraordinary writing this week that deserve mention. Each piece has something in it that may hit home for you and all are educational.
First up is a debut article written for a print publication. The author, Sophie Wegat of Think Prospect, in Australia, is a Site Administrator for Cre8asiteforums and business owner. Her article is called Building a Website on a Budget (PDF link). She writes,
When it comes to setting your online budget I often find itâ€™s better to look at your budget in terms of what you are prepared to spend in the first 12 months as opposed to just budgeting the initial development of your website. By having a budget for the first 12 months, you and your web designer can look at the best way to allocate your money. It may be that you spend 60 per cent building and hosting your website and the remaining 40 per cent to promote it.
I like articles that are easy to understand, get to the point and can mix in a bit of attitude. John Scott came through with that on a subject that could be humdrum. He made it his, by writing John Scott on Link Building. I loved his introduction because I remember those days well.
Back in 2001 ~ 2002 and thereabouts link building was simple. If you wanted to rank for widgets, all you had to do was spam some guestbooks with links pointing to your web page with widgets as the anchor text.
Seriously, rankings were easier to pick than apples from a tree.
John goes on to talk about “intelligent” linking and offers a series of pointers on how to link without triggering spam traps.
He also produced another blog entry that I liked for its honesty and humor (making me laugh is always a good thing!) called On Selling SEO Consulting. Ignoring my favorite part below, it’s a real good (serious information) read.
A lot of SEO companies seem to have a very clearly defined, five step marketing strategy.
1. Sign the client, even if it means over-promising
2. Get the client to sign a non-disclosure agreement
3. Keep the client in the dark
4. Show the client all his #1 rankings for non-competitive search terms
5. Call it a day
Joe Dolson blew everyone away with his incredible short, but nailed the dart in the center, blog piece called A Redesign Isnâ€™t About Design. The point of redesigning, he says, is to “improve” the site. So, what happens when this doesn’t occur? The crux of his piece really zeroed in on the purpose of a redesign effort.
“…my central principal behind ANY redesign project is to improve the site. It should have higher quality code, better accessibility, better search engine optimization, better marketability and a better design.
And sometimes, these redesigned sites just donâ€™t have ANY of these qualities. Why was the site redesigned? What drove this change?
Nobody is more approachable and willing to teach the joys of data than Matt Bailey. Lately I feel like a pathetic (okay, embarressed) groupie of Matt’s, but I hope it’s for a good cause. Some of him may rub off on me someday. His latest article is deep, packed with research and thought. It’s called Social Traffic: Useless Gossip or Powerful Word of Mouth. He leads off with,
From the earlier article that I wrote, Social Media Under the Microscope, a lot of conversation was spawned as a result of the data findings. Many questions seemed to have been answered, as many people responded by confirming the same data on their sites. However, there were some new questions created from the data.
The most fascinating questions revolved around defining the difference between different social media technologies, such as blogs, forums, online news sites, and social networking and bookmarking sites. Using the same data, but looking at it in different ways provided some very amazing trends. So, with new & improved charts (complete with fresh new colors) and additional tools to dig into the data, (thanks to ClickTracks) I began the process of analyzing different forms of engagement based on visitor referral sources.
From there you just sit back, read and enjoy the ride.
Sometimes discussions online are inspiring. Once again, the chance to pick up new information is what sets these apart.
Cre8asiteforums: Is Web 2.0 All Hype?. Explored in this thread are Web 3.0, usability and more.
Cre8asiteforums: Google Bug, only it wasn’t a bug. This is a situation where a designer struggles with hard truths about his website.
SEOMoz: 17 New Rules for Successful E-Commerce Websites. Personal experience, screen shots and additional comments make this the perfect refresher piece and even better for those new to ecommerce design.