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SEO, Canonical URLs, Rel=Canonical & Meaning of Ecommerce Life

SEO, Canonical URLs, Rel=Canonical & Meaning of Ecommerce Life | Design Revolution | Scoop.it

Canonical URLs Explained
The Yoast post provides an easy way to understand why rel=canonical is a powerful new SEO tag. Yoast has a dog in the hunt. They make a Magento plugin that easily writes the rel=canonical tag into a product page's head.

The explanation about WHY canonical URLs are so important is only half right. We have a million ways of expressing and sharing URLs these days. Without rel=canonical we end up duping content to distraction.

Here's the rub. All ecommerce sites dupe content. They must. When I was a Director of Ecommerce a single product accounted for 50% of our profits. You better believe I merchandised that product into every nook and cranny our site offered. I duped that product and it's content to distraction.

There are other ways to limit duplication including:

* Use of your Robots.txt file.
* Locking content behind a firewall.  

* Use of blockquotes & rel=canonical tags. 
* Rewrite duplicated content so it's not as duplicated (lol). 

We included our email output into a folder with a "no follow" line in our robots.txt. You may think such a move is enough. It isn't. Be sure NOT to drive links from spiderable content INTO that folder or you eliminate the effectiveness of the robots.txt.

In the end every ecom site worth it's salt MUST duplicate content. Rewriting sounds like a good strategy, but it isn't. Content = time and time = money when managing million dollar commercial sites. You will be duping content.

Best to use rel=canonical because it shows Google you aren't trying to STEAL anything. Reminds me of what a friend shared about the disavow tool (used to deny inbound links or signal they may be untrusted).

 My friend was using the disavow tool daily on his clients accounts. "So you are brown-nosing Google," I kidded him. "Exactly," was his answer. Rel=canonical tells Google you are TRYING to do the right thing and sometimes that is enough. 

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What Do 17,162 Know About SEO You Need Too? #seo For Web Designers via @HaikuDeck

What Do 17,162 Know About SEO You Need Too? #seo For Web Designers via @HaikuDeck | Design Revolution | Scoop.it

17,162 People Later
We've been asked to make the presentation that created our most viewed Hiaku Deck again at the Iron Yard Code Academy again (made the first presentation six months ago). There were important ideas we shared last time:

* SEO THRIVES or DIES with graphic designers.

* Graphic designers are heroes under siege by many groups.

* Set REALISTIC expectations.
* Set reasonable boundaries (with gorillas looking for bananas).
* Shared a few easy to remember tips to help designers improve their technical SEO skills.

Obviously we hit a nerve. We will be updating benchmarks shared six months ago to see how those we mentioned fared since.  Remember technical SEO is important, but your content must engage, be exciting (visually too) and develop sustainable online community to win over time. 

Good luck and if you have SEO questions we didn't cover email them to martin(at)Curagami.com and we will include and send you a Curagami Rules tee.  

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SEO For Web Designers via @HaikuDeck

SEO For Web Designers via @HaikuDeck | Design Revolution | Scoop.it

Web Designer SEO
Our SEO Tips for Web Designers hit a nerve. It is heading to 13,000 views (probably today). We hit a nerve because web Designers are where SEO rubber meets the road. This Haiku Deck is full of SEO tips for web designer including:

* Know who has the banana and why.
* Know how much SEO you need to know.

* Learn what is MIST vs what is Gorilla.
* Listen Digitally.
* Understand how SEO & Content marketing work together.

* Design to Win Hearts, Minds and Loyalty. 

And More SEO tips designed for designers.  

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Responsive Web Design 101 - Learning The Basics

Responsive Web Design 101 - Learning The Basics | Design Revolution | Scoop.it

Responsive web design is the practice of creating websites that display evenly on all devices. Understand the basics of responsive web design with examples.

Marty Note
Don't make the common mistake of thinking responsive design is all about look and feel. Yes some WordPress templates can make it FEEL that way since they are built to accordian with different receptions created by phone, laptop and computers.

The important idea for marketers to understand is to THINK Mobile First. Thinking mobile first brings a slew of changes such as:

* Flat web design.
* Limited Colors.
* Less functionality that is easier to understand.
* Content snippets instead of novels.
* Emphasis on VISUAL MARKETING.
* Need to make content & communication feel & act like a game.

Those last bullets speak to the gamification of marketing so implied by smartphones and a mobile / social / connected world. Mobile means never having to say you're sorry because you listen and curate more than you talk, create sustaining community and engagement and understand all the implications of "the network is the computer".

Just shared an overview of Marketing Timelines on G+ (https://plus.google.com/102639884404823294558/posts/EkXN57uJyjq ). All that said, you still need to understand Responsive Design 101 so appreciate this Scoop.it suggestion from @David Fournier. .

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5 Must Knows BEFORE You Design A Website

5 Must Knows BEFORE You Design A Website | Design Revolution | Scoop.it

Team Curagami (http://www.Curagami.com ) has, over the course of our combined careers, helped thousands of clients build websites and about 99% have cart before the proverbial horse. "What is our design going to look like," they ask.

Most think "web design" is creating the look and feel of a site. Actually the look and feel, while important, is at least #6 on the "do these things to create a great web presence" list. Here are the first 5 things on that list:

1. Elevator Pitch - Who Are You?
If we were riding in an elevator could you explain your business before we reached your floor? If NO is your answer you are not alone and you need to go back to the drawing board and practice until you have your "elevator pitch" down. All things flow from that defining snippet.

Tags can help define your elevator pitch. Curagami.com Cool Tools For Ecommerce Merchants explains what we do in 5 words. Note that I don't have the the site yet so do as we are saying not as we do (always :).

2. Pain Point - Whose Your Tribe?
We create stuff to DO SOMETHING. Your product or service must help some tribe. Curagami helps ecommerce merchants understand content marketing because finding the balance beam between content that works and content that hurts is a CSF (Critical Success Factor) for ecommerce merchants. So our tribe begins with ecom merchants and we address the PAIN of understanding content marketing. We don't LIMIT ourselves. We don't say, "Go away" to B2B SaaS clients but they are cream on the top of our core tribe and mission.

3. UCA - What Are Your Customers' Aspirations
Unique Customer Aspirations is a metrics we developed as Marketing Director for Atlantic BT. UCA speaks to the transformation your content, product and service creates. Yes Curagami helps merchants make more money, but we also relieve the STRESS of not knowing what to do and why. We help merchants have confidence in their content. No one can build sustainable online community (everyone's master goal whether they know it or not) without being confident in their ability to create, share and curate content. Content is king online and the implications of that statement go far and wide. It's not enough to know your tribes shape you must know their CHARACTER too. Our tribe is STRESSED OVERWHELMED and WORRIED. Anything we do to relieve any of that makes our content sticky and sure to be shared.

4. Know Difference Between Content CREATION and CURATION
Being able to create content is important. We suggest our clients create about 10% of content from unique brand based strings. 90% of the content we want clients to share, discuss and riff off of comes from gurus, customers and THE OTHER. The other is anyone other than you and keeping tabs on your category information, knowing what matters most to your readers and why and understanding the need to tuck ego in back pocket and share competitive information is one of the hardest skills we teach. Web marketing is MOSTLY about THEM not YOU so knowing when you need to blog vs. when you need to comment is key.

5. Know Social Marketing Basics
I'm staying at The Blackwell Inn in Ohio while being treated at Ohio State's James Cancer Center. I've tweeted several positive comments @theBlackwell. Noneof those comments have been ReTweeted and they don't follow me.

ERROR.

My social following dwarfs theirs so breaking the FOLLOW BACK rule hurts 'em. By not picking up my @tweets they discourage such shares and lose the value of that communication (that they actually LISTEN and CARE). I think they do listen and care, but they don't have the skills to do so ONLINE. Before you create a website you need to know what's up in social media.

The Blackwell's lackof knowledge isn't fatal since they are located on Ohio State's campus and are the ONLY such hotel so located. They can SUCK at social media (for a bit) without pain. Doubtful your website, especially if it brand spanking new can afford such a deficit.

Since the master goal of your site is the creation of sustainable online community NOT understanding the implied contracts and un-stated ways social media works can be DEADLY.

Know those 5 things and we can begin to discuss wireframes, look and feel and visual marketing :). Marty

One More Thing - reason this stuff is so important, as my friend Frank Pollock would explain, is the web is a lie detecting amplifier. If you lie it will be shared with the world and known instantly or before, so don't lie. If you are CONFUSED, as many SMBs are, get STRAIGHT before you put crayon to paper and design a site or risk having your confusion being your main message.

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Web Design For DIY the @Casetify Example

Web Design For DIY the @Casetify Example | Design Revolution | Scoop.it

*Web Design For DIY*
The Do-It-Yourself revolution is blowing up thanks to mobile apps and social media. This link includes one of our favorite examples: http://www.Casetify.com where we just created our http://www.Curagami.com logo case for iPhone 6Plus.

We are working on a series of posts about how to engage and empower your DIY customers & you can help. Send ideas, comments and your experiences with DIY marketing and we will curate into the piece with attribution and a link (martin (at) curagami.com).

Find more DIY Marketing thoughts and a secret code you can use to get $10 off your Casetify.com creations (8PGZX3). Sharing a code like that is powerful brand ambassador fuel.

Share your DIY tips and check out more notes on GPlus:
https://plus.google.com/102639884404823294558/posts/Nezb4QZgayx

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Top 10 Mistakes in Web Design

Top 10 Mistakes in Web Design | Design Revolution | Scoop.it

The 10 most egregious UX offenses against users. Web design disasters and HTML horrors are legion, though many usability atrocities are less common than they used to be.

Marty Note
If you took a day and fixed any of these Top 10 Web Design Mistakes That Apply you would make 50% more this holiday season. These are "cost of poker" fixes that can easily remain for years and years. Every year one of these mistakes exists your website is 10% less effective.

When you make 2 or more of these mistakes you pay with an order of magnitude more pain for each added mistake so 2 mistakes doesn't cost you 20%. No 2 mistakes cost you 200% of what your website could be doing for you.

Fix all 10 of these basic problems and your site is on its way to its "mission critical" place in your company.

Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

add your insight...

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Web Design Jazz (video) via @Curagami

Web Design Jazz (video) via @Curagami | Design Revolution | Scoop.it

Web Design Jazz is the conversational alchemy that is website design riffing important conversations your brands have with visitors and potential customers. What about you? What conversations are your having with customers? How did you get there? 

Check out our Web Design Jazz video and join the conversation:
http://www.curagami.com/master-classes/web-design-jazz/  

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Best Website Design May be NO DESIGN

Best Website Design May be NO DESIGN | Design Revolution | Scoop.it

Burn Down Your Website
Websites are cool and a great marketing aid...until they aren't. If the line of when they aren't isn't behind us we are approaching it. What is a "website" when we share posts on Medium, Scoop.it and GPlus?

 Feels like the idea of a website as a MUST GO HERE to interact with our marketing message is hopeless out of touch. Even when we do GO to a website what are we looking for? 

FUN, ENGAGEMENT and RELEVANCE.

The typical talking to yourself about yourself marketing that most flog online feels more than dead, it feels dangerous. Google's vote is clear - if your content doesn't create an increasing number of likes, loves, shares and loyalty your website is screwed, blued and tattooed.

Especially if someone in your immediate competitive sphere knows how to THROW DOWN, create community and MOVEMENTS instead of the usual solipsistic crap. Keep talking to yourself while someone else in your business vertical is hosting a party and you will be waxed.

Waxed because what really matters NOW is LOVE. If your win hearts and minds because you are honestly all in and listening hard you get to "win". If you are amazing you create blue oceans and uncontested competitive space for however long the ride lasts. Talking about FUN.

This Haiku Deck discusses the death of tactical web marketing. You can't out email market my team and I, or not for very long. We've been doing this crazy biz since 1999. You can gain an inch and we are likely to come back and take a mile.

 https://shar.es/12ekPU

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Big Web Design Trends Happening Now via Creative Edge w/ @Scenttrail Notes

Big Web Design Trends Happening Now via Creative Edge w/ @Scenttrail Notes | Design Revolution | Scoop.it

We're boiling down 13 of the most prominent web design trends emerging in 2015. Will they change your understanding of a "modern website"? You be the judge.

Marty (@Scenttrail) Notes:

1. Make it big (Agree but not as easy to do well as they make it look).

2. The multimedia experience (agree and same as #1)

3. The Parallax effect mutations (Horizontal Scrolling) Agree

4. Animated storybook (Agree and cool).

5. Flat design (agree & effect of mobile)

6. No more boxes (Agree and YES!).

7. Tiles (Pinterest effect and agree).

8. Navigation widgets (Agree!)

9. Integrating Google maps (Agree where appropriate).

10. Mashup interfaces (AGREE grab those APIs :).

11. Minimize (Seems to contradict #1, but agree).

12. World Wide Wait (speed is going to be KEY).

13. Designer automation (Agree, can do a lot with templates now).

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Ghost Buttons & 9 Other Cool Web Design Trends In 2015 via @elegantthemes

Ghost Buttons & 9 Other Cool Web Design Trends In 2015 via @elegantthemes | Design Revolution | Scoop.it

Ten Web Trends To Look For In 2015


  1. Responsive Wins.
  2. Ghost Buttons (made with Divi). 
  3. Emphasis on Type.
  4. Large & Beautiful Backgrounds.
  5. Scrolling BEATS Clicking.
  6. Card Design Gets Better.
  7. Flat Design morphs into Material Design.
  8. Microiterations.
  9. Interactive Storytelling.
  10. Personalized UX.


Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

Cool list from Elegant Themes and they should know since missing a "must have" new feature means no one buys your themes. My faves are Ghost Buttons and Interactive Storytelling. Heck if any 3 of these happen as described 2015 is going to be a breakthrough web design year.

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Wiki-ization Of Marketing: Here, There, Everywhere A Wiki

Wiki-ization Of Marketing: Here, There, Everywhere A Wiki | Design Revolution | Scoop.it

Here A Wiki, There A Wiki, Everywhere A Wiki
What is a Wiki if not an invitation to create online community. The "open source" like collaboration Wiki's provide is a blueprint for creation of online community. After months working on http://www.Curagmai.com we've discovered how close Wikis are to...well everything.

Wiki Ideas To Steal Include:


* Open Source Like Content Collaboration.

* Use community to steer and de-spam ecosystem.
* Depend mostly on social reward.
* A healthy and competitive contest never hurts.

* Feature and thank contributors.
* Provide ways for contributors to know where they stand vis-à-vis other contributors.
* Create ways contributors can follow and communicate with each other.
* Include ways for contributors to create mini-tribes.

* Make sure "rules of the road" are understood and published.

* Communication with sponsoring agents must be easy too.
* Normalize greatness by sharing across ecosystem.
* Role of sponsors becomes more curators than creators.
* Ask for help.
* Provide social rewards (such as features) to contributors.
* Create ways to identify contributors in the world (t-shirts, stickers).
* Appreciate, be nice and thankful (always no matter what).

Following a few simple rules will dramatically increase the most important content you can't buy (User Generated Content or #UGC) and build sustainable online community. Sustainable online community means costs go DOWN even as other material rewards (UGC, followers, traffic, money) go UP.

This Haiku Deck is about why we are all in the Wiki business whether we realize it or not AND how to design for the Wiki-ization of marketing, brands and online community.

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Funk Up Your Web Design: Find Your Site's VOICE

Funk Up Your Web Design: Find Your Site's VOICE | Design Revolution | Scoop.it

Marty Note
Watching the excellent HBO Documentary about James Brown Mr. Dynamite made me think of FUNK and web design. Web design is easy to get WRONG (lol).

It is tricky to design online with a sense of surprise, beauty and novelty. I like the Digital Invaders design as it feels free and spontaneous. Other designs such as Monster CSS and Creative With A K feel like they are trying to appear spontaneous and free.

Trying too hard is EASY in web design too. Remember all websites are STAGES we designers SET. The trick is to set a stage that feels like it is happening now and won't feel dated tomorrow. Feels like there are enough visual hooks in Digital Invaders it would be easy to keep it fresh with minimum fuss.

I like Emigre too. Emigre creates the same sense of happening now but that design is at the other end of the spectrum from Digital Invaders. Its hard to beat the grid. First website I created, in 1999, used a Mondrian grid.

Grids help organize massive amounts of information without that mountain feeling like it is about to crush you. I like the funky NOISE contrasted to the quiet grid because they demonstrate the need to find a visual VOICE in your web design. That voice can be anything as long as it feels authentic TO YOU.

The web is very good at finding and amplifying DISSONANCE. When you try to FUNK IT UP and aren't really funky it shows like you are wearing the wrong decades fashion (painful). Your customers are your audience.Set the stage anyway you want, but do so with an eye toward YOUR TRUTH.

The closer you stay on the tiny beam of "authentically us" the more success your web design has. This is why there are no web design maxims that apply all the time. What works for Emigre is very different than Digital Invaders but both work, both are authentic and have that hard to describe but know it when you see it TRUTH great web design must have.

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Time To Go Pageless? 8 Reasons Why Pageless Design is Future of Web Design

Time To Go Pageless? 8 Reasons Why Pageless Design is Future of Web Design | Design Revolution | Scoop.it

Pageless design frees websites from the outdated conventions of print design and fully utilizes the digital platform they’re built on. 

8 Compelling Reasons Why "Pageless' Web Design Wins (in the end):


* Tells a better story.

* Easier to "digest" or understand what to do.

* Emotionally more powerful.

* Higher Conversion Rates!!!
* Makes updating faster & easier.

* Lowers BOUNCE & encourages sharing.

* Looks great on all devices (mobile included).

* Lower cost to develop.

Marty Note
I confess to not being in love with the "infinite scroll" just yet. One modification we worked out for @Curagami, our Startup Factory funded startup, is to include a Call-To-Action at the top & Bottom.

CTAs help prepare the scroll. Remember "open book" tests? Putting a CTA on top of a waterfall of content helps prep a visitors mind. It "opens the book" for them. With this many impressive benefits I'm going to have to figure out how to start loving "pageless" design (lol).

I bet there are 5 (or so) similar modifications we can make to help us know how to create the paths and conversion we want by going "pageless".  

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