Redesigning your existing website is something that your business should consider doing at least every three years. Internet trends and styles change and if you wait too long to update your website, it can end up looking dated and stale.

When it comes to redesigning your site, look at other existing websites, particularly those representing your competitors or peers, and take note of what you like and what seems to work best. However, it is important to consider the user and what they expect to gain from the site.

One way to ensure the customer satisfaction with your website is to use what's called a user-centered design. This proven process considers the requirements, expectations and skills of the end user at each stage of the design and development process.

By getting users to provide input into each step through the user-centered design (UCD) approach, businesses can avoid time and cost overruns.

Wireframes

When you analyze user needs, you will produce a list of content elements and consider the layout and the functionality of the design. Developing wireframes at this point is the way to go.

Wireframes should consider how users navigate the site. If you plan to adapt the website for mobile or tablet use, now is the time to look at that as well.

Information Architecture

Next, give careful consideration to your content by categorizing it into a coherent structure that people can understand quickly and easily. Information architecture will lead to the design of the site's navigation.

Aesthetics

Next, you can start thinking about the design. Start with simple aesthetics and do user testing.

This stage helps you to save time when you get feedback that something isn't quite right and you need to start again.

Finish

As with any creation, the final stage is to apply the finish. You should think carefully about accessibility in terms of colors, contrast and font sizes.

This approach will result in a better website than a cut and paste job through competitor analysis. However, you're not finished yet. Your website should continue to evolve through user feedback.

Copyright 2011 dzine it, Inc. web design All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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There is no “right way” to run an SEO campaign because each site needs to approach a campaign differently based, on their needs and goals. However, there is a wrong way to manage an SEO campaign.

If you are guilty of any of the following four mistakes, you may be mishandling your SEO campaign.

Mistake #1: You focus too much on your Google ranking.
Obviously, the higher you rank on the search engine results pages (SERPS) the better, but this should not be your primary concern.

Search engines are increasingly trying to personalize users’ search experience which means that results will vary from person to person based on search history, location and other factors. Rank is important, but it should not be the only thing you care about.

Mistake #2: Your blog is stale.
If you have a business blog, but you haven’t written a new post in six months, it is time to reevaluate your search engine optimization efforts.

SEO thrives on the consistent production of fresh content that is good enough to connect with, engage and educate your target audience. A stagnant blog will hinder the overall success of your SEO campaign.

Mistake #3: You use your social networking profiles like they are ad spaces.
Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn should not be used as giant advertisements.

If you want to get the most from your social networks, you need to build relationships with your customers and create an online community for your brand.”

Be sure to use your social profiles to promote and share content, address customer service issues and engage in conversation with your audience.

Mistake #4: You think that all links are good.

Links are incredibly important to your SEO campaign, but not all links are created equal.

Don’t compromise the integrity of your online presence and your SEO campaign by participating in black hat link exchanges or blog comment spamming. Quality, not quantity, is what really matters when it comes to link building.

Copyright 2011 dzine it, inc. Expert Internet marketing All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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If your Google Places page is not showing up at or near the top of the local business listings in search results, there are six ways to improve your chances of being found by local searchers.

1. Get your business verified. The first step in getting your Google Places listing on Google’s results pages is to get it verified. The verification process can be done through SMS, phone call or through the mail. Google will send you a pin code which you must enter into your Google Places account.

2. Add keywords to your business description. Google Places allows you to describe your business in up to 200 characters. Remember to use your most valuable keywords, but avoid stuffing. Write a useful and compelling description that will appeal to readers and help with SEO as well.

3. Categorize your business. It is important to choose at least one or two of the categories offered through Google Places, you will also have the chance to add three categories that are not actually listed.

4. Make the most of the “additional details.” The “additional details” section of Google Places is not only a great way to get more details of your business onto the page, but it is also an opportunity to insert more of your keywords.

5. Get listed in other directories. When you list your business in other directories like Local.com, Yellowpages.com, or on your local chamber of commerce website, you can boost your Google Places page ranking.

6. Add videos and images to your listing. While it may not give your business a huge boost in ranking, geo-tagged photos and videos can certainly help and they will make your Google Places page more appealing to search engine users.

These are just a few Google Places optimization tips that can help you get better rankings on Google.

Copyright 2011 dzine it, inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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