OnTrac ~ (re)design redux

Shortly after hav­ing Blender give his web­site facelift and back-end over­haul long­time client Gary Mitchell learned his book was being pub­lished.  He decided a com­plete re-design was in order to focus in this new direc­tion.

As part of the pre­vi­ous update Blender had con­verted Gary’s web­site to Word­Press based con­tent man­age­ment sys­tem (CMS). This meant we could now change the entire appear­ance of his web­site with­out touch­ing the con­tents.  Gary would edit and update his con­tent while Blender restyled the appear­ance.

Tech­nolo­gies: Word­Press, PHP, CSS, Javascript, jQuery

visit OnTracCoach.com


Optimizing your Website for Social User Experience

Web Design Ledger (WDL) has a short arti­cle on includ­ing a social com­po­nent within the design of a web­site to encour­age vis­i­tor inter­ac­tions.

Social web 2.0 trends have taken over many of our mod­ern sta­tic web­sites. Nowa­days it’s dif­fi­cult to find a com­pany who isn’t on Face­book or Twit­ter or Foursquare, or any of the other increas­ingly pop­u­lar social net­works. It’s impor­tant to con­sider this expe­ri­ence and how you can por­tray social con­nec­tion in the eyes of your vis­i­tors.

Opti­miz­ing your Web­site for Social User Expe­ri­ence

4 Reasons Your Website Fails To Convert

Web Design Digest lists 4 rea­sons your great look­ing web­site isn’t gen­er­at­ing any heat — tar­geted land­ing pages, clear call-to-action, direct home­page, and per­sonal con­nec­tion.

Top 4 Rea­sons Your Beau­ti­ful Web­site Doesn’t Con­vert

SEO for Beginners

SEO­Moz have cre­ated a great begin­ners guide to SEO.  I rec­om­mend all my clients read this guide, espe­cially the chap­ters on grow­ing in bound links and key­word research.  This guide will help you to under­stand what I am talk­ing about…

Begin­ners Guide to SEO

Website (re)Design ~ On Trac Coaching

Long­time client Gary Mitchell first hired Blender in 2006.  He recently wanted to update and re-brand the web­site for his core busi­ness GEM Com­mu­ni­ca­tions.  His exist­ing web­site was dated,  per­formed poorly from a Search Engine Opti­miza­tion (SEO) stand­point, and used tech­nolo­gies such as Flash which are no longer suit­able for gen­eral web­site design. Gary wanted a mod­ern web­site that would give him all the advan­tages the inter­net offers.

Our redesign stayed true to the appear­ance of the old, but com­pletely replaced the foun­da­tion and back end.  Blender rec­om­mended using the Word­Press Con­tent Man­age­ment Sys­tem (CMS) so that Gary could main­tain the con­tent of On Trac on his own ensur­ing his web­site was always up to date.  Word­Press offers well struc­tured web pages where search engines are con­cerned and scales well to any size web­site.

Another focus was an expan­sion into social media includ­ing LinkedIn, Face­book, and Twit­terOn Trac would have a pres­ence on all three with the web­site act­ing as a hub from which con­tent would be shared out.

The suc­cess of the re-design will be tracked using inte­grated Google Ana­lyt­ics for traf­fic mon­i­tor­ing.  Vis­i­tors can give feed­back through web­site feed­back forms, a blog post com­ment sys­tem, and  through social media inte­gra­tion.

Tech­nolo­gies: Word­Press, PHP, CSS, Javascript, jQuery

Visit On Trac Coach­ing



Facebook app for Fix Auto

Face­book is the most pop­u­lar social net­work with 750 mil­lion active users, roughly 10% of the world’s pop­u­la­tion.  Like all social net­works it con­nects users together, and if you are a busi­ness it con­nects you to your clients and more impor­tantly to their friends.

Crys­tal Munro, mar­ket­ing con­sul­tant, hired Blender to build a Face­book appli­ca­tion to encour­age vis­i­tors to “Like” Fix Auto’s Face­book page.  Together we cre­ated a cheeky plea for sup­port that uses a fun ani­mated car crash to get a vis­i­tors atten­tion.  Once liked a new page is dis­played that will con­tain spe­cial offers as a reward.

You can see the results on my Face­book page, but you will need to “Like” me to see the result­ing reward page…

visit Blender on Face­book

Preparing to Launch On Trac

Long time client Gary Mitchell of GEM Com­mu­ni­ca­tions wanted his web­site re-branded and updated.  On the top of his list of require­ments was a con­tent man­age­ment sys­tem and an SEO friendly design.  You can check out the progress at OnTracCoach.com.  Watch for a more in depth launch announce­ment here…

Guide to Website Optimization

Web Design Ledger (WDL) has posted a thor­ough SEO guide with sec­tions focus­ing on Web­site Fac­tors & Site Archi­tec­ture Fac­tors and Con­tent Fac­tors

This guide is intended to be a cheat sheet that allows you as a designer or devel­oper to really bake SEO into the projects you are work­ing on – sav­ing your clients time and money in the long run as well as mak­ing the process much more seam­less for them and your life a heck of a lot less stress­ful, well at least no more SEOs bug­ging you to make changes!

The Ulti­mate Guide to On-Page Opti­miza­tion (WDL)

SEO Experiment ~ Hubpages

For search engine opti­miza­tion (SEO) an impor­tant fac­tor con­sid­ered by search engines is inbound links — links from other web­pages.  The best link is one from another web­site who does not link back to you AND has not des­ig­nated the link as ‘nofol­low’.  A nofol­low des­ig­na­tion tells search engines that the link is either paid or some­how solicited or affil­i­ated.  Often these links will hap­pen nat­u­rally over time with good con­tent, but what if you are in a hurry?   Although at first glance it would seem easy to arrange these links, in prac­tice it can be dif­fi­cult and time con­sum­ing. Espe­cially for really good links.

One way to cre­ate our links is to author con­tent on blogs or other com­mu­nity based web­sites.  One such web­site is Hub­pages where you can author your own arti­cles with out­go­ing links.  The catch is that ini­tially your out­go­ing links are nofol­low, but once you achieve a cer­tain level of cred­i­bil­ity with Hub­pages your links lose this des­ig­na­tion.

I am now 12 days in on an SEO exper­i­ment on Hub­pages. My ‘hub­ber’ author rat­ing has passed 75/100 at which point the links in the arti­cles I wrote lost their ‘nofol­low’ des­ig­na­tion. No news yet on whether this is help­ing my web­site in terms of SEO, but it is early days. My con­cern at the moment is my hub­ber rat­ing peaked at 82 and has since dropped to 78 … must main­tain that 75 rat­ing!  To achieve my hub­ber rat­ing I wrote two arti­cles, both orig­i­nal and full of great con­tent.  I also read some other authors hubs and made some com­ments on their work.

You can find links to my Hub­pages in my Face­book and Twit­ter feeds.  Don’t want to link to Hub­pages here though!

Web Design Info Graphic from WDL

Web Design Ledger (WDL) has put together an info graphic fea­tur­ing essen­tial com­po­nents of a web­site design and the peo­ple who make them.  visit WDL