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Tag: web design

Audience Development Managers Still Love Technology

New and evolved technologies can be an audience development manager’s dream if it leads to bigger audiences.

Where are your audience development strengths and weaknesses? Today’s news focuses on pertinent information for audience development managers, including actions that some major publishers are taking now.

18 Website Development Tools to Try

There’s a never-ending stream of new tools that pop up every day to help us become better web developers. We have a dashboard of tools we look to for ideas, assistance and even implementation, and it’s safe to assume that you probably do too.

Last year we discovered and shared a lot of web design tools that we use and want to pass on. In case you’re new here or missed a few, here are our favorites.

Website Architecture vs. Web Design – Which Comes First?

Website architecture refers to the funnel that leads your customers from a page, to a point of interest, like a “buy now” button, or an email subscription form. It refers to the function of your website and its webpages. It does not refer to the colors on your website or your CSS stylesheet, but the actual structure of your website and its purpose.

Every page of your website should have intent. For example, before you “design” a page, create its structure. An article page includes a page title, URL, headline, subhead, body copy, and sometimes a photograph. Additional SEO elements include a meta title, a meta description and tags. These elements all contribute to the architecture of an article page.

You’re Not Multi-Platform Marketing Successfully without Multi-Platform Publishing

Your multi-platform marketing automatically improves when you plan, build and optimize a successful multi-platform publishing business – the Mequoda way
Over the years I’ve personally worked with hundreds of media brands who have gone on to build multi-platform marketing and publishing systems. Many of them started with a single title and had revenues of just a

Email Upgrade: 5 Responsive Newsletter Design Tips

To be a responsive website designer, you must know how to design a website to be viewed effectively on any platform. For example, a responsive website design would never include flash, because around 30% of the smartphone market is carrying a flash-unfriendly phone. Additionally, you find new ways to deliver pop-up ads that don’t slide off-screen, making them un-closeable on mobile devices. Or you remove them altogether when the browser detects they’re on a mobile website.

Publisher Design Tips: We’ve Found the Mother Lode!

As websites become more and more sophisticated, the look and feel of portals has become slicker but it many cases more confusing as media companies attempt to use every trick, tool, and toy they can to impress visitors, retain traffic, and convert consumers. This is understandable, and sometimes it even works! Recently, however digital magazines have stripped some of the bells and whistles away, as publisher design has moved toward simplicity.

Worldwide Publishing Offers Attractive Opportunities for Digital Magazines

Worldwide publishing represents a daunting proposition for digital magazines: Audience development and digital advertising is tough enough domestically, and it’s called the World Wide Web for a reason, so why invest resources in opening up international markets already occupied by homegrown media companies? Why hire native speakers or translators to serve up content to readers in Latin America or the Netherlands? Because there’s plenty to go around as device usage continues to climb and advertising demand proliferates. eMarketer delivers the data that makes worldwide publishing a more compelling option for stateside digital magazines. Let’s take a look some of their recent articles.

What Great Website Design Actually Means and How to Measure it

Have you started the venture on your next great website design? Maybe your original design was pretty great when you launched, but it’s been a few years now and it’s not so great. What exactly is the definition of great, anyway? Is it a good color pallette? A fancy design? Does it shuffle content more effectively, or draw your eye to the most important calls to action? Does it generate revenue for you? Has it been effective at building an email list? Are you consistently seeing more revenue generated through it than the month before?

You can probably guess at which of these questions are more important than others. If we have to hear another new marketing intern complain about pop-ups without looking at the 20-30% increase in email captures when they launched, we’re going to go all Nate Silver on them. Business goals – do you have them? Good. Are you willing to do what it takes to reach them? Great.

Responsive vs. Fluid Design: Do You Have to Choose?

Design is a delivery mechanism for content – nothing more and nothing less. The more elegant, the better, of course, but getting caught up in appearances is never a good idea no matter what you’re doing. When we talk about good design at Mequoda, aesthetics (as much as we love them) take a back seat to user experience. And when discussing the responsive vs. fluid design problem, we always caution publishers to not overcomplicate things by getting bogged down in industry buzzwords.

Designing a Website: 12 Best Website Design Tools

Use these 13 best website design tools when designing a website

The most important goal when designing a website is to figure out the main funnel that gets a visitor to complete a transaction. That transaction may be monetary (a sale) or not (a subscription to your email newsletter).

Effective website design is based on efficiency, clarity, and user-friendly elements that take the visitor through the funnel.

Check out these thirteen best website design tools that cover all of the above.

The Forbes Digital Future Following Its Sale to IWM

Forbes Media Chief Product Officer Lewis DVorkin quickly took to the website recently to address the magazine’s digital future after its sale to Hong Kong-based Integrated Whale Media.

Digital Magazine Replicas Are Way Up in Canada

Marketing Mag Canada is reporting that new AAM numbers on digital replicas have tripled in the last year. In December 2012, the digital replica circulation was 42,000.

Your Responsive Design Won’t Kill SEO

It’s official: responsive web design will not affect your SEO. This message comes straight from Googles Head of Search Spam, Matt Cutts, aka “Our Guiding Light” when it comes to the dos and don’ts of SEO. He posted a video on Googles Webmaster Help YouTube page about a whether or not responsive web design impacted SEO.

Research Confirms People Consume Print + Digital at the Same Pace

Campaign Magazine has the details on a new study released by Conde Nast comparing the dwell times between print and digital content.

Mequoda Weekly: January 7th, 2013 – January 11th, 2013

Catch up on the Mequoda Daily’s blog posts for this past week

Week in Review: December 3rd, 2012 – December 7th, 2012

Catch up on the Mequoda Daily’s blog posts for this past week

Understanding Mequoda SEO Analytics

Discover how Harvard University uses analytics to gain Google visibility, increase website traffic and sell premium content

Google Analytics should be every online publisher’s best friend … but most don’t have a clue how to use it.

Mequoda Group, a leading consultant to online publishers including The Motley Fool, Consumer Reports, Crain Communications and International Data Group, will be sharing some of its secrets to SEO analytics at the SIPA 29th Annual Digital Publishing and Marketing Institute, Dec. 12-14 in Miami Beach.

Unlikely Web Design Tools to Help Decrease your Website Jargon

Usability and design are two key factors in publishing great websites. You may have a clear strategy and great content, but if your site is unusable and unattractive, it will be difficult for users to find what they’re looking for, difficult for you to get users to do what you want them to do and difficult to get users to become loyal customers and revisit again and again.

Two Types of Website Design Tools that Tell You What Users Click

The website design process hasn’t really changed in the last ten years. You come up with a wireframe, a designer mocks it up, a developer makes a test site and after weeks of going through each agonizing detail you deploy your new design. It’s a fairly static process; however, there’s an endless supply of questions about colors, calls to action, fonts, copy, images and everything under the sun.

The first thing to know is that your initial iteration is unlikely to ever be the best one. As publishers, you’re probably on version five, 10 or even 20, depending how long you’ve been around. We spend a lot of time hiring beta testers to sit in front of computers with eye-tracking devices to test our clients’ websites. It tells us more about how easy the site is to navigate, find what they’re looking for, and how effective our calls to actions are. At this point, we’ve discovered a pretty standard set of elements that do work, and ones that just don’t.

Designing Media Websites that Work

In 90-minutes, learn how to create a website for the best user experience

Responsive Website Design Roundup

For those of you who are not sure what responsive web design is, it basically means designing your website so it will be able to adapt to whatever platform its opened on. Whether it’s a computer, tablet, smartphone etc. the site will adapt and fit on whatever screen is being utilized.

Below we have some articles going more in depth explaining what responsive web design really is, and some great visuals of how sites adapt when used on different platforms. In the third article, NetMagazine will give you a good jump start on how to begin creating a responsive web design of your own.

Email Markting Tips From Marketing Land

Today we will be looking at multiple articles from Marketing Land focusing on email marketing tips and techniques. If you haven’t heard of Marketing Land, they are a news and information site that covers Internet marketing. They have lots of content updated frequently that should cover all your internet marketing needs.

Responsive Website Design Cost, Mistakes, Ideas and the Need for a Great CMS

Today we are looking in depth at different website design tips from top bloggers.

Inducing Traffic Through Better Web Design

When you’re designing a website one of the main objectives should be inducing traffic. No matter what the content of your website is, if you don’t create traffic its not going to be very successful. Not only do you want to create traffic, but also you want your users to stay for a while, rather

Mobile Web Growth Drives New Responsive Website Design Standards

The number of people who own smartphones has been consistently rising for years and doesn’t look like it’s going to slow down anytime soon. Approximately 50% of people who own a cell phone have chosen a smartphone. What does this mean? That your websites need to be able to adapt for the smartphone viewer. Below are a few articles that may offer some techniques on improving your website’s mobile design.

Avoiding Website Design Disaster: Begin With the End in Mind

Author Stephen Covey is fond of pointing out how difficult it is to reach goals that you don’t have. “Begin with the end in mind” is my personal mantra for every website design project I start.

Publishing websites are like Swiss Army Knives. They can do many things well. This makes them the perfect tool for digital publishers. A well-crafted publishing website can build audience, generate leads, and sell products and services. Each of these three major goals requires a separate and discrete business process that is embodied in a well designed website. Further, a well designed website that does two or more of the above must do so with tactically discrete processes that are strategically aligned.

SIPA Member Profile: Yeomans Puts Clients in Fashion

Rachel Yeomans, Marketing Director, Social Media, Astek, Chicago

SIPA: What was your first job out of college and how did you get into this business?
RACHEL: I graduated in Journalism with a concentration in magazines. When I graduated, the journalism industry was already somewhat difficult to enter into. I received a lead from a college friend about a temp agency that was looking for candidates to work for a construction reporting firm. Basically I cold called general contractors throughout the Northeast and Northwest areas and asked them what projects they were bidding on. I’d then input that information into the company’s system, of which people would purchase for construction job leads. It wasn’t ideal, but it was a job, and it “sort of” tapped into my interview skills from journalism school.

3 Professional Forums for Online Editors to Increase Website Traffic

Do you have all the “answers”? Quora, LinkedIn and O’Reilly do.

As an online editor for a reputable magazine, newspaper or newsletter, you are already considered an expert in the niche that your in and the “beat” that you cover. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be trusted with being the voice of authority for your publication.

Fortunately, there are also several online platforms available to savvy online editors who want to increase website traffic by extending their reach outside the usual circles of their own network. At the end of the day, participating on these sites can indirectly send people to your website.

SIPA Member Profile: McKinney Provides Solutions

Mike McKinney, President, comHAUS, Inc.

What was your first job out of college and how did you get into this business?
After a stint as Apple student rep, I went to work on an hourly basis as an AE in a small marketing firm in Dallas—and worked my way into a salary and a client base. I am proud to boast that I have generated more money for my employer than they have paid me in wages since the week I graduated college. We wrote a strategic plan for a client who wanted to start a service bureau for Voice Mail and Fax on Demand. The day we presented the plan they told us, “Great idea. We think you should do it.” So, they paid us for the plan, we took the technology and became an interactive fax service bureau, FaxResources. In 1995, FaxResources merged with the Dallas Cowboy Insider—thrusting me into early epublishing. Then we merged with !nfaxamation in ’97, which moved me to Denver. !nfaxamation merged with International Teledata Group (ITG)—which was an enlightening experience in corporate dysfunction—causing me to launch comHAUS in ’99.

4 Readability Tips for Better Landing Page Designs

Which elements make for an easy to read landing page?

No matter how you cut it, you’re going to need to write lengthy sales letter copy for any landing page.

Even a free product requires at least 300 words to get indexed in Google and you’re not going to fill that quota without a little story and feature list. You’re certainly not going to get ranked on any keywords if you don’t have enough copy to sprinkle them in throughout the page.

So with that said, you now have to think about how you’re going to organize all of these words in a way that is easy to skim. Of course you want them to read every word that you write, but more importantly you want them to find everything they want to know about the product:

The iPad and Web Apps

The “iPadification” of mobile apps

We have been talking about the impact devices like the iPad will have on the online publishing industry since the tablet device was released.

These changes won’t be strictly due to the iPad – other tablet devices, web trends and additional technology will play a part as well.

Tips for Creating Successful Mobile Apps

Identify the uniqueness of mobile apps

Mobile apps can greatly impact the way people interact digitally while on the go.

Due to the popularity of digital devices, mobile apps are a game-changing component for online publishers and content marketers.

Creative Apps for Creative People

Ways designers may use the iPad

I may have some creativity inside, but graphic and web design do not fall into the category of artistic ability I possess.

A number of the articles I have been reading about the iPad say it will not bring any added benefits to the world of graphic design and web design because of its simple interface and the methods used for operating it.

Vertical Measures Offers a Month-Long Sale

Receive a custom content marketing campaign 30% cheaper

4 Essentials for Website Homepage Design

Make a great first impression with these helpful tips

SIPA Take Away #1: 17 Testing Tools from Sandra Niehaus

17 Usability, Card Sorting, A/B and Multivariate Testing Tools from Sandra Niehaus

HubSpot’s 7 Website Redesign Tips

HubSpot was recently recommended to us by a couple of our Twitter followers and has a free Website Redesign Kit we wanted to share with you. In the kit, there’s an e-book called Website Redesign for Marketing Results that lists these 7 website redesign tips.

Harvard Health Letter Sales Letter Landing Page Review

Harvard has opted not to use a traditional landing page to sell the Harvard Health Letter.

Instead, the main sales page for the Harvard Health Letter is a minimal transaction page with the barest of copy and graphics, and is devoid of the selling effort one would normally expect when promoting a paid subscription publication online.

Knowing the smart marketers at Harvard, we have to believe that this is a deliberate choice. As we recall, they don’t use this “bare minimum” approach in print promotions: their paper direct mail that we’ve seen consists of strong, long-copy sales letters that sell the publication and its benefits, and sell it hard. Why then would they opt for this “bare bones” approach online? This review really addresses a broader, more important question: are online and offline copy fundamentally the same or fundamentally different?

Breadcrumb Navigation Best Practices

If your users are Hansel and Gretel, then your website is the woods, and your navigation is their breadcrumb

Online Publishing Strategy: Make Websites More Senior Friendly

U.S. Government Creates Guidelines

If the target market for your email newsletter or membership website is older Americans, you might want to heed this advice on senior-friendly websites from the National Institute on Aging. If fact, you might find these suggestions are worthwhile for any group squinting at the computer screen.

“Plain text, plain type, and plain terms are plainly effective ways to broaden the reach of a website to an older audience,” says the National Institute on Aging and the National Library of Medicine.

GardenGateMagazine.com Website Design Review

A Well-Planned Strategy, Attractive Website Design and Thoughtful Attention to User Tasks Makes GardenGateMagazine.com an Absolute Blueprint for an Effective Magazine Marketing Website

AmericasTestKitchen.com Website Design Review

America’s Test Kitchen Website, a Network Hub Positioned to Extend Visitors from the Television to the Web to the Printed Word, Demonstrates Extraordinary Website Architecture in Satisfying Users’ Need for Added Value and Publisher’s Desire for Additional Revenue

Web Usability for Senior Citizens Landing Page Review

Reviewing a website published by Jakob Nielsen is a little like giving driving lessons to your father. It feels as though the roles ought to be reversed. Nielsen has a Ph.D. and holds 78 U.S. patents, most of them on ways for making the Internet easier to use. I, ahem, do not.The New York Times calls Nielsen “the guru of webpage usability.” U.S. News & World Report calls him the world’s leading expert on web usability.” A popular German publication calls him “the world’s leading expert on user-friendly design.”

The Hume Report Landing Page Review

The Hume Group has been in the self-help education arena since 1974. Like Nightingale Conant, they’re one of the granddaddies of that genre. They specialize in providing financial security education with real estate and stay-at-home, do-it-yourself investment programs. To quote the company’s mission statement: Our goal is to help you achieve personal financial security with investments that are most suitable to your life… (works for me).

MeansBusiness.com Website Design Review

MeansBusiness.com, while a very viable and intriguing online content model, makes some critical areas in their website design practices, lagging behind their peers in the areas of community building, affordance and labeling.

A car restoration enthusiast starts a pay-for-access website after spending two years in Ulaan Baatar, Outer Mongolia

In this exclusive Mequoda interview, Satch Reed explains his popular subscription website that’s dedicated to antique car restoration. It’s also dedicated to making money for its publishers.

Interview with Dave Debs, the mastermind behind MemberScript Content Publisher, a new product for managing a membership website

Member sites are hot! As more subject matter experts and information entrepreneurs begin online publishing ventures, the demand for automated content management software continues to grow. For the second time in a month, a Mequoda member has introduced a product to help membership website publishers manage their online content.

Landing Page Guideline #8: Improving Readability and Content Density

There are a Few Common Factors that Contribute to Improving Landing Page Readability—Notably, the Choice of Typeface

The goal of this subscription website is to help high school seniors earn their way into the colleges and universities of their dreams.

YesLetter.com, founded by students at Princeton University and the Wharton School of Business, offers an extensive online library and discussion network—all developed and run by students in a number of Ivy League and other top-tier schools.

Freelance writers, designers, computer programmers and others can find assignments at a website that uses the fee-for-access business model

Membership website based on helping people find employment or career advancement
The Freelance Work Exchange offers its members career advice and strategies as well as hot freelance job opportunities. Its freelance and work-at-home jobs database includes opportunities in:

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