Welcome to another edition of Sites Weekly.
In this week’s edition, you will find links to articles about the following:
- Content. “Old school” factors still lead to present-day sales
- Design. How to create a website with beautiful typography
- Technology. Do you still believe any of these 15 SEO myths that refuse to die?
- Strategy. How will digital marketing evolve in 2018?
- Bonus. Considering Facebook’s recent changes, should you use Groups to build your community?
But first …
Last week on Sites
The Sites podcast is back … and now it’s called Site Success. Last week, we published two new episodes, which will be our modus operandi moving forward.
If you missed those two episodes, the theme was identifying your audience.
Get caught up:
I discuss what all the changes to the podcast mean, and then how to define your ideal audience.
Brian Clark joins Sean Jackson to describe three key elements of a framework for choosing who you want your audience to be.
And now, on to this week’s links …
Content: “Old school” factors still lead to present-day sales
Leave it to Sonia Simone to bring important, “old schoo”l lessons into a present-day context that you can put to use immediately in your content marketing to help you sell better.
And whether it’s selling an actual product or selling people on the idea of exchanging their email address for your free newsletter, you need to understand the basic factors that will help you sell successfully.
As Sonia says:
“You don’t have to be ‘born’ understanding how selling works, any more than you have to be ‘born’ knowing how to play the piano, or ‘born’ knowing how to ski. Some people take to those activities more quickly, but all of us can learn them.”
Start learning how to sell better with this post.
Design: How to create a website with beautiful typography
I feel like we’ve discussed typography a lot in this section in recent weeks. Rafal would be so proud. 🙂
In this blog post by Bogdan Sandu, you will learn some basic tenets for using typography to share a message about the purpose of your website, help create your website’s personality, and perhaps most importantly, maximize readability and a positive user experience.
“You might be tempted to put as many characters as possible on a line of text, but that is not a good idea. A smaller number of characters per line is important if you want to have good readability.
You will see different recommended values for characters per line. Some put them at 50, others at 75. I recommend 60, if you want a good reading experience.
On mobile, things are a bit different. In apps or responsive designs, you should have 30-40 characters per line.”
And even if you’re using a theme, like a StudioPress theme, and thus not doing all of the design work yourself, you can still exercise some granular control over typefaces to incorporate different looks and feels, as described in this post.
Two of the most important decisions you will make about your WordPress website are your theme and your hosting. Wouldn’t it be great if they worked together to make your website more powerful?
Now they can.
Technology: Do you still believe any of these 15 SEO myths that refuse to die?
SEO can be a tricky subject to understand. No search engine actually publishes its algorithm, and there are constantly tweaks and even major changes being made.
What is a hard-working, content-focused website owner to do when it comes to staying up-to-date on the latest wisdom about what works and what doesn’t?
One smart strategy is to stay dialed in to sites like Search Engine Journal, which regularly post useful articles — like this one — that dispel some common myths you might still believe.
Here is one that stood out to me, having not really thought about sitemaps in a while. Oops, sounds like that was a mistake.
“Sitemaps are not a nice to have add-on for sites today. This gets even more important as we move to the mobile-first algorithms in 2018.
Why? When Google cannot easily crawl a portion of your site, the sitemap allows the crawler to better find these pages.
Bonus Tip: Google is going to have a harder time finding pages due to the reduced size of navigational elements in mobile-first indexing. Sitemaps — both XML and HTML — will be the best way for them to find all the pages on the site you want indexed and ranked.”
There are 14 more just like that …
Strategy: How will digital marketing evolve in 2018?
Digital marketing is constantly evolving. While the underlying principles mostly stay the same, there are often hot new strategies (often driven by technological advancements) that are worth considering to see if they will work for your content and your audience.
In this blog post, Michael Johnson provides a brief overview of three ways he sees digital marketing evolving in 2018.
One big idea that has me very encouraged:
“Digital marketing is no longer about transactions and bottom lines. It is more about interactions and building a stronger relationship with the audience. The business impacts of such campaigns will come later and the campaign will continue to produce results long after the relationship is established.”
Bonus article: Considering Facebook’s recent changes, should you use Groups to build your community?
Right off the bat, I shudder at that thought … because building something as important as your website’s community on land owned by someone else is a very risky proposition. And yet, we all know that Facebook can be a powerful driver of community because of how much time people spend there.
So it seems, at least, worth considering.
That’s what big websites like Fatherly and Vox are doing, and you can learn a little bit about their experiences so far in this post from MarTech Today.
Which of the ideas in these posts will you put to good use immediately?
I’ll be back with a new edition next week.