Category Archives: Design

4 Ways News Websites Fail to Deliver the Optimal User Experience

How News Websites Can Deliver Better User Experience - Eminent SEO

By design, news organizations have the resources to research, report on and publish an online story much quicker than the average B2B or B2C business is able to produce and publish a blog post. And for that, news-focused websites are generally rewarded by being featured more prominently in search engine result pages, trending social media timelines and several other areas of the internet.

Being that news outlets offer relevant, almost up-to-the-minute content, they’re often able to get away with not following the SEO best practices that the rest of us publishers strive to adhere to. Are we envious? A little.

However, all of our years of studying SEO has led to many valuable takeaways on user experience, and we now know that building a better user experience can positively affect search engine results in a number of ways.

So, my objective here is not to critique the content of what news organizations are offering these days. Instead, I want to focus on the presentation of said news. I believe that building a better website user experience (UX) will lead to improved reader loyalty and more page views, and I have a few suggestions on how news websites – whether catering to local, national, international or niche audiences – can make that happen.

Loyalty to Specific News Websites Is Declining

Raise your hand if your preferred method of consuming news is by visiting the homepage of a news website each day and then clicking on several articles of interest.

I’m guessing for everybody who read that, less than half of you actually raised your hand – or at least mentally raised your hand. If you did, there’s a good chance you’re not a big fan of social media – or at least use it sparingly. That’s because social media is altering the way we consume news, even though television is still a major source of news to many Americans.

The Game Is Changing

News Consumption Stats Websites Apps Social Media - Eminent SEOPeople are getting more and more comfortable with learning about the news through social media, and in many cases, they won’t even need to click through to a separate website to have a basic grasp of what the news of the day is. News websites are still a big part of that conversation, but no one organization has a monopoly on click-throughs and reader trust.

An early 2016 Pew Research Center study found that 62 percent of U.S. adults get news through social media, with 18 percent saying they do so “very often.” That means only 38 percent of American adults aren’t on social media or don’t come across news through this medium.

Compare this to four years earlier, when only 42 percent of adults reported using social media to consume news.

In the same Pew survey, 35 percent of respondents between the ages of 18 and 29 said social media was the “most helpful” source of information about the then-upcoming presidential campaign. Despite the rise in online and social media usage, there were still more people in the survey that said they would rather watch news (46 percent) than read it (35 percent) – although the TV news watchers trend 50 years old or older.

Also worth noting is a 2015 Pew survey in which 49 percent of people younger than 35 years old who come across news on either Twitter or Facebook reported that these platforms were either their most important source or “an important source” of news.

The news industry looks like it is becoming a cutthroat contest of which media outlet can collect the most scraps off the table in social media. Likes, comments, shares, retweets, etc. are all good and well, but the goal is to entice a social media user to click through to the full article (and then to a few other articles), especially if that person doesn’t regularly visit said website.

Where the User Experience Is Lacking

Not every website is guilty of the following user experience deficiencies, and I’m not going to call out any specific website, but I want to elaborate in general on what news sites can and should do to enhance their UX. I’ve identified four major areas that media outlets should consider regarding the online user experience they offer readers.

1. Subheaders

Subheaders aren’t just good for SEO. They help break the article down into digestible pieces for the reader.

Newspaper journalism was already big on short paragraphs. When news outlets started producing online content, they were already ahead of the game when it came to paragraphs that eschewed the traditional five-to-seven-sentence structure.

Shorter paragraphs became even more critical when users started consuming content on mobile.

So, most media outlets were positioned well in that department, but many are still following the school of thought that the article only gets the one headline, followed by paragraph after paragraph until the report concludes. That’s going to become more and more of a problem as readers’ attention spans continue to decrease.

Check out the second half of this article for example:

NPR Article Screenshot - ESEO

Although examples like this are aplenty, many news websites are starting to get the hint and have begun breaking up their longer articles with full-width images, charts, pull quotes or even (gulp) ads. But shouldn’t they time to add subheaders in addition to these images or ads?

It’s time to embrace the H2s and H3s that content management systems afford the publisher. The New York Times has done so, but others are lagging behind. News organizations’ web teams should utilize subheaders and work in keywords of notable individuals or heavily searched topics: These will give their articles a little more staying power in the search engine results, especially long after the publish date.

Highly descriptive and enticing subheaders will also help with keeping readers on the page longer and hopefully getting them to the bottom of the article, which is where the next two suggestions come into play.

2. What the Reader Should Do When Finishing the Article

As copywriters within a marketing agency, the death knell for us would be allowing the readers of our clients’ websites to reach the bottom of a page and ask, “OK, what do I do from here?”

This is why we put a lot of time into our final calls to action (CTAs), trying to leaders visitors to a strategic place after they’ve finished reading any page on the site. We don’t always direct readers to call the client. Sometimes we link to another page on the site, or we may encourage the visitor to subscribe to the blog or just leave a comment on the page at hand.

I’ve noticed many websites are lacking in this area. You get to the bottom of the article, and it either has limited or uninspiring options for where to go next. Many media websites have those spammy Outbrain articles at the end of the page. I get it: You have to pay bills. But even if that stream of advertising is something you must keep, you still need to have ways to entice the reader to visit another page or area of the site.

If all you offer are outbound articles or even unrelated articles from elsewhere on your site, it will leave many readers with a hollow feeling once they reach the end of an article. They might consider clicking on the homepage to start over, or simply flee from the website at that point.

Some news websites offer related articles once the user reaches the end of the page, and I think this is a good direction to go in. However, I think this area needs to be highly visual and carefully curated considering the article at hand. For example, a straightforward news report can lead to an opinion piece on the very same topic, or vice versa. Or if the article at hand is an update on a previous report, the earlier article could be the featured related article.

3. Comment Sections

I know moderating comments is probably the bane of existence for news web teams, but it’s undeniable that these user messages spur interaction and discussion. Having comment sections is one way to solve the “what do I do from here” question that comes up when reaching the end of an article. Comment sections certainly can keep readers on the site longer, and they sometimes encourage the reader to revisit the same page several times over.

Interestingly, I saw many news websites ditch their comment sections over the last couple of years, but they’re starting to make a comeback on many sites – particularly after the last presidential election concluded.

Web teams seem to have realized that they can still offer the commenting experience without making it a fixed and indelible part of a particular article. There’s nothing worse reading an article then immediately seeing a trollish, irreverent and easily visible first comment as if it’s a permanent part of the page.

This is why most websites now keep the comment section hidden until the user manually clicks to open it up. Nothing wrong with that.

Building a Productive Commenting Experience

Yes, comment sections have the potential to devolve into a sea of hostility or fruitless conversation. This is why it’s important to employ third-party tools like Disqus that can help cut down on some of the spam and trolling. Or even better, make users sign in with their Facebook account so they have to put their name behind whatever they post.

Such commenting tools won’t be a fail-safe solution to ridding all spam, bullying, etc., but they can automate at least part of this process for web teams. That being said, it would still be worthwhile for news orgs to assign at least some level of comment-moderation duties to employees.

Even with the potential drawbacks, user comments have a chance to enrich the news-consumption experience for readers. You’ve probably seen some comments that add to the background of the article at hand. Or maybe they discuss another side of the story that the article failed to mention. Or maybe they point out a spelling or factual error that the web team can quickly correct.

Most media outlets will find that allowing users to comment on any article, even if the option is hidden at first, will enhance the user experience for their audience and far outweigh any disadvantages that comment sections harbor.

4. Too Many Gimmicks

Better User Experience Equals More Page Views - Eminent SEOThankfully, many media sites appear to be abandoning the practice of having a separate story load as soon as the reader reaches the end of a particular article. Nothing more annoying than a website assuming you’re going to want to read whatever it spoon-feeds you next.

While this practice might have helped certain websites gain artificial page views, it must not have been working well: Many organizations seem to have fallen out of love with this tactic. I would imagine that high bounce rates and negative feedback influenced the decision.

Other gimmicky practices need to be reevaluated: Pop-up ads and prompts are a good place to start. If the website lives off a paywall model, then it makes sense to deliver a pop-up to a new user to tell them to either sign up or how many free articles they have left for the month.

In almost any other case, however, pop-ups need to be evaluated to see if they’re returning any reasonable ROI. If not, it’s time to 86 them. It’s not as if they make the user experience more enjoyable anyway.

Auto-play videos are another potential annoyance to consider. If a television news station has them on its website, fine. That makes sense. But in most other cases, it’s going to aggravate much of the user base.

Who’s Your Audience

Ultimately, user experience is going to come down to identifying and understanding your audience and then delivering the content they crave. This will get the page views moving in the right direction.

Readers will likely forgive the lack of subheaders and such if their favorite news websites continue to cover the stories that they want, and if the sites provide insight, images and/or interactive multimedia that competitors can’t offer.

What do you enjoy most about your favorite site for news? How do you think it could provide an even better experience as a user? Let us know in the comment section below.

Andrew Gilstrap

Content Director at Eminent SEO - I enjoy writing, editing and photography. My goal is to make YOUR website read better and rank better!

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4 Reasons Why Your Website Conversions Are Lacking

Website Conversions Lacking - Eminent SEO

So you’ve taken all the textbook steps to drive traffic to your website: You’ve implemented target keywords, the copy reads better, you’ve added high-quality images, you have a responsive design, and then you’ve seen a rise in Google’s search rankings.

However, perhaps all those changes aren’t driving results to your business website. What if your sales numbers from the website remain flat or barely eclipse what you were doing before? Where did you go wrong? Well, it could be a multitude of reasons, but, in short, maybe you’re still trying to understand your customers and figure out what motivates them to buy from or reach out to you.

Several psychological and cognitive factors are in play when somebody 1) lands on your website from search, and 2) decides whether to follow one of your calls to action – anything from subscribing to your newsletter to purchasing a product or service from your company. Let’s take a look at four of the primary reasons why there may be a disconnect between your volume of traffic and the number of conversions.

You’re Deluging Them with Technical Information

When somebody lands on a page where you’re trying to sell them something, do they initially see a plethora of long, technical paragraphs or a seemingly never-ending list of bullet points? Have you loaded up on specifics about your product or service before even hitting the fold of the page?

If the answer to those questions is yes, then you’re going to want to dial back how much information you’re hitting a potential customer with as soon as they land on the page in question. What you should do instead is focus on strong photos and graphics, particularly if they illustrate how the product is supposed to work.

You’re welcome to get into the finer details beneath the fold, but near the top of the page, you can get away with a little as a sentence or two – or even a couple of carefully crafted short phrases in large font – that describe what your product or service does, including the problem it might solve. If you head over to our home page, you’ll get a good idea of this theory in practice.

Too Many Calls to Action (CTAs)

Too many options can often be a problem, as the customer may become overwhelmed and click out of your website rather than taking a step forward. When you’re trying a drive traffic to a landing page on your website, does that page have an abundance of calls to action, such as “sign up,” “subscribe,” “order,” “enter your email,” “enter to win” and “call us”?

Just as you should be cautious with the amount of information you present above the fold about your product or service, you should also take it easy with the number of CTAs you have in that space: One is usually ideal. Furthermore, the number of CTAs on the page overall should be low and manageable. If you’re trying to lead the visitor in one of umpteen directions, he or she will likely take one route instead: backward.

The Page Lacks Direction and Is Confusing

Even if the top part of one of your landing pages is light on copy about your product or services, as recommended above, that doesn’t mean the visitor to your site is always going to know what step to take next. If the page is broken into a variety of different sections and there are a multitude of colors, buttons and other elements in play, the potential customer may be confused about which area to concentrate on, including glossing over the part that would have appealed to him or her otherwise.

Make sure there’s a clear focus on what each page on your site is supposed to be about, as well as how each image helps direct the user to what you want to sell. For example, if there is a person in one of the photos, try to have their eyes point toward a specific call to action on the page. When you start thinking about how to clearly direct visitors to the money-making clicks on your website, you’ll then take the steps necessary to bolster interaction and engagement on the page.

You’re Not Sure What’s Getting Clicked on and What’s Not

Another issue that may be effecting your website conversions is you haven’t figured out what motivates your existing customers and where they’ve clicked on a web page. One easy step to take is to grab somebody from outside your company – like a friend or a family member – who has never seen the page you’re hoping to bolster. Have that person sit down and interact with the page with no prior knowledge of what to look for, and get their feedback on what they’re viewing, including what they’re inclined to click on. Your confidant’s actions will give you an idea on how new visitors to your site are taking in what you present to them.

A helpful tool for understanding where exactly on a page visitors are clicking is a heatmap, offered by companies like CrazyEgg. Once you can tell where they’re clicking, you’ll get a better idea of how to organize the page. For example, do you have a video near the top of the page that is getting ignored? Perhaps you can move it to the bottom, or just strike it altogether, in favor of a more popular element that’s below the fold. Your conversion rate should jump as soon as you realize some of the areas that are undervalued and need to be featured more prominently.

Final Thoughts

The common denominator between the items above, specifically the first three, is clutter – meaning you want to avoid clutter on any landing page of your website, especially above the fold. In the top area of a page, you want to entice somebody to take one step closer to a purchase, and you can get into the nitty-gritty of the product or service later in the page. You also want to visually guide visitors toward the desired calls to action on your site, and understanding where they click now will help you decide how to better organize your content going forward. Take each of the steps above, and then watch your conversions take off.

Andrew Gilstrap

Content Director at Eminent SEO - I enjoy writing, editing and photography. My goal is to make YOUR website read better and rank better!

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When to Launch Your New Website Design

This entry was posted in Design, Websites and tagged , on by .

When to Launch Your New Website DesignYou finally took the plunge and decided to re-design your website. Whether you’re redesigning it because it isn’t mobile responsive, or you simply just had an outdated website – bottom line is you needed to make this leap.

Now comes the common questions: When do I know if it is complete or not? Did I include everything I should? Does my website sell my product effectively?

You don’t have to feel overwhelmed when it is time to transfer your development site into a live environment that users can view and the search engines can index. Always stick to your bottom line – does your website spell out what is unique about your company and reveal your brand’s selling proposition immediately? If not, you may need to work on the design a little bit more to ensure it is influencing your audience through the correct messaging.

What You Need to Know Before Launching Your New Design

Stop Focusing on Little Content Tweaks and Focus on Your Overall Message

It can be daunting to go over every single piece of content on your website, especially if you have a larger site. The good news is, minor content errors can be fixed after it goes live. Instead of worrying about minor content errors, focus on understanding the goal of each page. Does each page represent something crucial to your business and is it sticking to your brand messaging? If your website clearly defines what you do, how your business is unique, and where to go to purchase – you’ve got your most important bases covered.

Don’t Let Your Website Design Take 6 Months to Accomplish

We see this all of the time. Companies will take months to complete a simple re-design that should’ve taken 30 days. There can be a number of reasons why this happens, however, business owners need to think of the bigger picture at stake. The longer you take to push your website design live, the longer it’s going to take to gain any return on investment from the new design. You can keep running the marketing campaign to prevent any huge losses, but you need that new design in order for your updated marketing strategy to be successful.

Your Website is a Constant Work in Progress

Most website design agencies will utilize modern design principles when designing your website. However, a lot more goes into a design than “pretty” graphics. It’s more about the psychological aspect of how users are navigating through your site. How do users feel when they land on a web page? Your website is a constant testing ground for conversion since you won’t know how users navigate your new website design until it’s actually live. Look closely at the conversion funnels in your Google Analytics to identify where you’re losing users. Re-designing, re-writing and re-optimizing internal pages of the site may be a constant work in progress until you’ve reached a conversion rate you’re happy with.

Forward Thinking is a Must

Content development and site architecture can be a large piece to a website design. You have to think about now, and the future, when developing the site architecture and content. Make sure your voice is consistent, your site architecture is easily expandable, and your content all leads to one main conversion goal. You also need to be forward thinking, so that all of your other marketing collateral and strategies align and meet your short and longer term goals.

How to Know If Your Website Design Is Ready to Go Live

Don’t let all of the little things get you off track. The real goal of the website design is to show off your product or service and show why your brand should be chosen. When your content messaging clearly defines your product or service when you hit the site – your content is ready to go.

What about everything else? To know if your website is good to go, it must be thoroughly tested for quality assurance.

What to Test Before Launching Your New Design:

  • Test all contact forms to ensure emails are being received.
  • Test the shopping cart to ensure products can be easily purchased without any glitches.
  • Manually click each page on throughout the navigation to ensure it is pulling up properly.
  • Manually click all links on the site to make sure none are broken.
  • Make sure all of your images and videos are properly sized to prevent slow loading times.
  • Check everything on mobile separately to ensure a quality mobile experience.
  • Make sure all of your pages are properly siloed in the navigation, meaning the URL coincides with the parent category.
  • Install all of your necessary plugins for SEO and social media.
  • Install Google Analytics and Google Search Console on the new site.
  • Install any other tracking metrics, such as Call Tracking Metrics.

These are just some basic things to look for before pushing your site live. For a full list, check out our website checklist.

Closing Thoughts

Always go into a new design project with a plan and forward thinking. The whole point of re-designing, or designing a new site from scratch, is to show off what’s unique about your business. Be prepared to explain your unique selling proposition to your web designer, so that they can understand your vision. From there, your website design agency should be able to take your vision and turn it into a beautiful, modern design that is also practical for your on-going marketing strategy.

Looking for custom website creation services that can increase your website traffic and conversions? Call our website design specialists today: 1.800.871.4130

Lacey Chic

Account Manager at Eminent SEO - Passionate About Digital Marketing. I love music, pitbulls, traveling, hiking, yoga, and learning.

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Vol. 40: Good to Know in SEO, Social Media Design Optimization, Monthly Blog Roundup

This entry was posted in Design, Newsletter and tagged , , on by .

Good to Know in SEO

As you know, internet marketing is dynamic and is literally changing every day. If you want to know what is going on in SEO now, you need to read… a LOT!

Here are a few great posts from across the web we think you should read this month:

Google Reveals Android App for On-the-Go Campaign Management
After a whole slew of product launches for AdWords in recent weeks, Google has now revealed an Android app that is available in the Play store.

Google May Discontinue Its AJAX Crawlable Guidelines
Does your site use AJAX? Well, Google may stop crawling those pages. More details to come from Google as early as next week.

How Google Pulls Structured Snippets from Websites’ Tables
Bill Slawski gets into how to apply WebTables. Some great stuff for the more advanced SEO’s.

How to Do Keyword Research for SEO: A Beginner’s Guide
Everyone does their keyword research slightly differently. If you are just learning how to do it yourself, check out this method from Hubspot.

Should Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Be Taught At College?
Often people have asked us if there is a course or degree for SEO… The answer is no. Why don’t colleges offer a legitimate degree in this sphere? As it turns out, there are very good reasons for it.


Okay, this one isn’t necessarily going to help you with your marketing strategies, but it might help you have a good time with your friends this weekend. You’re welcome!

Google Search Now Serving Up Cocktail Recipes With Drink Ingredients & Directions
Want to know how to make a Mint Julep? Just ask Google.

Google mixologist

Social Media Design Optimization

Social media platforms all offer different features. Most let you customize your profile image, banner and add some information about your business. If you want to take full advantage of the platform, you should customize and optimize every area available to you, including designs.

Some people think it’s enough to load their logo or a photo – but all too often we see logos that are cut off, blurry images and other obvious issues due to the designs not being properly scaled for the individual platform. Even if you create beautiful, custom designs you still have to size them for the specific recommended dimensions, per platform. For example, the recommended Facebook profile image sizing is 900 x 900, however, for Pinterest it’s 735 x 1102.

To help you design optimal images for your business profiles we created a quick guide. These are the only dimensions you will ever need to create and optimize your important social platforms (until they decide to change them on us again!).
Social Media Image Optimization

February Eminent SEO Social Media Roundup

February was a fun month for social media… We buzzed about the Super Bowl, sent out love for Valentine’s Day and shared some motivational quotes. What do you like to see in your social media feeds? Funny videos, inspirational quotes, articles about SEO, marketing facts and stats? Let us know so we can share more of what you love!
Achieve Goals
Maya Angelou
Too Busy
Go for great

February Marketing Blog Roundup

Lots of good reading in this month’s Eminent SEO, Social Media and Branding blog roundup!

5 Ways To Build Online Brand Awareness In 2015
Looking for ways to build your company’s brand awareness this year? Are you looking for ways to stand out from the competition?

The Importance of a Website Content Audit During a Re-Design and How to Do It
Are you looking to re-design and develop your website? Have you thought about performing a content audit on your existing site before the re-design? If you haven’t, you need to. Here are some tips on how to perform a website content audit and reasons why it’s necessary.

Getting To Know Team Eminent SEO: Kirstin Douglas
Meet Kirstin Douglas. She is our Office Guru who is witty and logical at the same time. Mother of two, loves anime and keeps us in line! Find out how Eminent SEO keeps functioning at our best with Kirstin on the team.

How Content and Links Work Together for Better Organic Marketing
Content and link building techniques need to align in order to build a strong organic marketing strategy. With a strong organic presence, your website will rank higher in the SERPs attracting qualified users, while content marketing will walk those users through the sales funnel and help convert them into qualified leads. Here are some ways these two techniques work together.

2015 Super Bowl Commercials: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly!
When you are a marketer you watch the Super Bowl for the commercials! This year entertained us, made us cry and even made us cringe a little. What was your favorite ad this year?

Is Pinterest Adding A “Buy Now” Button?
Your favorite cork board may be making the switch to digital mall. What if instead of just pinning those shoes you would die for, you could buy them with a click of a button? This feature will make buying (and selling) a breeze.

How Your Business Can Benefit From The Growing App Market
Don’t think your business can benefit from mobile apps? Think again. Some tips on how to make Snapchat work for your business marketing campaigns.

Facebook Limits Organic Reach: What Does That Mean for Marketers?
Now that Facebook is limiting the amount of promotional content in newsfeeds, how are marketers supposed to utilize Facebook to help promote brands? There are still ways, but they are limited. Here are few we came up with. Feel free to share some of your ideas in the comments.

See Ya Online!

Welcome to our new subscribers! We hope you found something useful in this month’s newsletter. Are you interested in a specific topic you’d like us to feature in the next blog post or newsletter? Send us a note – we’d love to dive deeper into the subjects that matter to you the most.

Thanks for reading! Until next time, see ya online!

Jenny Stradling

Owner and CEO at Eminent SEO in Mesa, Arizona. I started doing SEO and marketing work in 2005. I'm a {very} busy mom of 4 and I owe my sanity to my partner in work and life, Chris Weatherall. I love sharing and engaging in business and marketing conversations, and I'm heavy into social media and blogging on these topics. I love coffee, wine, food and other people who enjoy the adventure of seeking out the best places to eat and drink. In my free time (what's that?) you'll most likely find me studying philosophy and spirituality, cooking for my family or relaxing with a nice glass of wine, a funny movie and the people I love.

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7 Reasons Why You Need A Website Redesign

This entry was posted in Design, Development and tagged , on by .

Website Redesign

Updating your website is a trend that’s catching on and for good reasons. Technology, design, SEO and user-experience trends are constantly evolving. If your website is outdated, offers a poor user-experience, or search engines don’t even know your website exists, it might be time to invest in an updated design.

An updated design is a large investment, and it’s not just simply transferring a theme on WordPress. It’s changing the way users navigate your website and determining the funnel you want your users to flow through. What is your website used for? What is the end goal of the user? Does your website represent your company clearly? Not sure? These are some important questions to ask that may help you determine if it’s time for a website redesign.

Here are some of the top reasons why you need a website redesign:

1. Your Website Isn’t Responsive

Does your website currently scale to fit all mobile devices? Mobile search is predicted to overtake desktop search by next year. In order for users to properly navigate your website on a mobile device, it needs to be responsive. Another positive to having a responsive design is search engines favor mobile-friendly websites in the search results over website that aren’t mobile friendly. Why? Because it serves their primary goal of giving a better user-experience to their clients.

2. Search Engines Have No Clue Your Website Exists

Outdated websites are sometimes built on platforms that search engines can’t even crawl such as: Flash, Tables, Java, etc. Search engines will devalue the content when it’s not built in an HTML format. Search engine crawlers can’t read image, video, or flash files. So, if your website is outdated and content is placed on images or flash files, search engines aren’t reading it. The best way to tell how search engines are reading your site is to look at how Google is caching the page.

3. Users Aren’t Navigating Through Your Website

In Google Analytics, you’ll be able to tell the average pages viewed per session. If it’s not higher than 1.0, it’s probably time to rethink the design. This can mean that users are getting lost, or the content is completely irrelevant to what they were searching for. You want users to navigate past the homepage of your website because it means the website content and performance is user-friendly. If you have a one page website, this metric won’t work for you. If this is the case, look at the average session duration of each visitor. If it’s less than 20 seconds on average, users aren’t finding what they’re looking for.

4. Calls to Action Don’t Exist

Does your website have a primary goal for each landing page? Is it clearly defined on what the users’ next step is? These are known as calls to action. Each landing page needs to have a goal and a next step for the user. This will help the user easily navigate through each page of the website and, without question, increase the chances of them converting.

5. Your Website Doesn’t Define Your Company Brand

In this digital age, you only have a few seconds to capture your audience. Is your brand message clearly defined on your website? By clearly defined we mean: exactly what you do, your offer, and what makes you stand out from your competition. Think about it, if you’re searching for a pool installation company, and you come across a website that has nothing pool related on it, or minimal pictures of projects they’ve worked on, you’ll probably click off the website.

When searching for a pool company to install your pool, the first thing you may want to see is a beautiful, well-landscaped pool design that the company has completed. Maybe even linking to a gallery of other pools they’ve built. Next, you would want to see how they’re different. For example, they’ve been in business for over 40 years – that must mean they have lots of experience, great! Lastly, you want to know their offer. An offer might be “A free pool design consultation if you call today!”. Also, a primary call to action should always be present – do I fill out a form, call, visit their showroom, or?. See how everything ties together? A successful website ensures the brand message is clearly defined.

6. Your Website Doesn’t Load Fast Enough

This relates to your desktop loading times as well as your mobile loading times. If your website is taking too long to load on a computer or on mobile devices, you’re going to lose a lot of visitors. People are extremely impatient. If your site is taking longer than 5 seconds to load, you’re in trouble. People aren’t going to stick around and wait for it to load.

This could also be a factor when a website’s imagery isn’t properly optimized. It’s highly recommended to have a developer look into why your website isn’t loading fast enough, and a re-design might be the only fix.

7. You’ve Been Thinking You Need a New Website Design

Does your website look outdated compared to the competition? Are primary features constantly breaking and not functioning the way they once did? These are all signs that your website is outdated. Technology is changing day by day. The functionality and design of websites are too. Be ahead of your competition, not behind. If your gut is telling you your website sucks, it probably does.

Closing Thoughts

These are only a few of the many reasons why a website may need to be redesigned. It’s important to keep your brand in mind and how you want to represent your company online. Think first impressions. Your website is a lead generator giving potential customers their first impression of your company. If your website isn’t generating new leads, doesn’t represent your brand, or it’s simply outdated; REDESIGN IT.

If you need help getting started with a website redesign, learn more about our website design services here or give us a call: 800-871-4130.

Lacey Chic

Account Manager at Eminent SEO - Passionate About Digital Marketing. I love music, pitbulls, traveling, hiking, yoga, and learning.

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The New Eminent SEO Website is Live!

This entry was posted in Announcement, Design and tagged , on by .

Eminent SEO New Design

We are so very excited to announce that our new website is live!

For several months now our brilliant team has been working on a complete website overhaul, from a fresh design to all new content.

A Full List of All of the Website Changes and Why We Did Them:

New Design

The original website design was launched in early 2010. At that time we were still learning about design and developing our brand. Max, our brand Mascot (the cute orange monster you see on our site and social profiles) has always been a part of the design, but now he has been freshened up a bit. Jason, our lead graphic designer, created a fresh and more modern design to bring us into 2014.


Obviously any new design needs to be coded, which is where development comes in. However, our old site was not responsive (due to its age) therefore we not only had to recode the site to accommodate the new website design for PC’s, but for tablets and other mobile devices as well. Our new site is completely responsive – so you can now easily view and navigate the site from any computer, browser and mobile device.

Existing Content Rewritten

Just like design becomes outdated, so does content. We always stress the importance in updating website content for improved user experiences and search engine value to our clients – so fresh update for our own site was long overdue. We are excited to have 100% all new content on each and every page of our website and hope that you, our users, will take some time to review the changes and learn more about who we are and what we can do for you!

On-page SEO Redone

Just like design and content become outdated with time, so does SEO. Our old on-page SEO was specific to the old content, so when we rewrote our content we also updated our on-page SEO, including things like: meta titles, meta descriptions, header tags, alt tags, internal linking, etc. This required many hours of keyword research and was a definite labor of love.

Added New Content Sections

In addition to rewriting the content and updating the old content pages with new on-page SEO, we also added a lot of new content pages. As you surf through our services, for example, you will see new overview pages. We have also added a new resource section that includes some great resources for our existing and potential clients, including:

  • FAQ’sAnswers to some of our most commonly asked questions.
  • SEO SlangA huge list of industry terms (“slang”) and their definitions.
  • Free ToolsThe start of a collection of free tools we use that could be helpful for you.
  • Website ChecklistA gigantic website checklist for anyone who is launching a new website.
  • Client TestimonialsSome of our client testimonials so you can get to know us better.

We hope these resources are useful for clients and other SEO’s looking to learn more about on-line marketing.

Max Swag

We love our little guy Max SO much… and so do our fans! So, we decided to make some fun designs and products featuring Max. On our Max Swag shop you will see some of our featured products, such as t-shirts, tote bags, phone cases, mugs, ect. If you see something you like or want to customize your own product, there is a link to our Zazzle store where you can select the product of your choice and customize it to your liking – happy shopping!

Updated Navigation

Of course with updated pages often times comes new page URL’s. Anytime you launch a new version of your website you need to determine if any of the page URL’s change. If they do, it is imperative you place a 301 redirect from your old URL’s to your new page URL’s – or you will lose the existing page indexing and any links, in-bound or internal, will also need to be updated or will become broken, causing 404 errors on your new site. No bueno! We built a new silo navigation for our service area and therefore placed 301 redirects on all of our old URL’s.

Hooray! We Are Finally Live!

Launching a new site, particularly one of this size and scope, is a huge task and takes a lot of work. In order to pull something off at this caliber we have literally had a dozen people work on the site – from the initial wireframe creation to the final QA.

I would just like to personally thank all of you who helped make this happen. I am more than pleased with the new site and am proud to share it with friends, family, clients and potential new Eminent SEO fans.

If you have any questions, comments… or would like to know what it would take for our team to redo your site, please contact us! We would love to hear from you!

Jenny Stradling

Owner and CEO at Eminent SEO in Mesa, Arizona. I started doing SEO and marketing work in 2005. I'm a {very} busy mom of 4 and I owe my sanity to my partner in work and life, Chris Weatherall. I love sharing and engaging in business and marketing conversations, and I'm heavy into social media and blogging on these topics. I love coffee, wine, food and other people who enjoy the adventure of seeking out the best places to eat and drink. In my free time (what's that?) you'll most likely find me studying philosophy and spirituality, cooking for my family or relaxing with a nice glass of wine, a funny movie and the people I love.

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Design Trends For Websites: Coming In 2015

Website Design Trends for 2015


With the year more than half done many people are turning their eyes towards 2015. We are no different, which is why we are already forecasting the web design trends for 2015. While this year has already produced countless web and graphic designs that make heads turn and increase quality page clicks, looking ahead is never a bad idea, especially for those businesses considering a web re-design to help launch the new year in style.

Even though 2014 had a lot to show us, we wanted to speculate on the trending web techniques for 2015. And, since we are already 8 months into 2014, there’s no better time to do it! With so many businesses looking to re-design their website by the start of the new year we though it was time to reveal our findings… here they are.

2015 has a lot in store for us, and here are just a few design trends we feel are going to be high-trending:

1: Compelling Type-treatments

With advancing development frameworks and a little help from Google Fonts, it’s becoming easier to use specialized fonts inside your website design. Font kits were used in the past to enhance a small amount of typography on the site, but they were clunky and didn’t work well in all browsers. Now it has become easier to express a style and match your brand messaging with the type of fonts that are used without the concern of a misrepresentation on certain browsers and devices.

Typography is now an art form that can can transform the look and feel of your website, adding to additional user experience and enhances your overall brand message. Quality fonts are now more available, and if you’re looking for something a bit more than what Google has to offer but don’t want to break the bank – don’t worry, they are cheaper than ever before as well.

2: Responsive Design and Development

Responsive design has become an imperative standard with website’s in today’s age of the internet. Statistics show that mobile device users are becoming more commonplace and are soon to be a majority of website viewers. It’s difficult enough to keep the attention of a normal website-user, but if your site isn’t user-friendly for a mobile device, you’ll find yourself losing a lot of potential customers. Responsive design and development will give your website scalability so that it has the ability to showcase well on desktop computers and most mobile devices, without sacrificing your website functions and goals.

3: More Use Of Flat Design

In 2013 flat design WAS BORN! Well, not exactly born, but sensationalized. Prior to flat design, web designers used a graphic technique called “realism” which applied different styles to web elements such as gradients, shadows, bevels, etc. Most of the time this worked well, however, designers felt like they needed a shift in the way graphics were presented inside of a website, hence, flat design was born. Flat design removes almost all of the extra stylization to the graphics and modernizes the way web elements are viewed. Solid and vibrant colors against the bold, blended pallets are the new norm. It also helps developers use CSS to create web elements without having to always rely on images, which decreases page load times.

4: Large HD Imagery

Having images on your website has always been necessary, but now full screen, high-definition images are a must-have. Having compelling headlines and your important calls-to-action overlayed on top of a compelling and relevant image is a great way to catch the attention of your customers and express a specific message. This is especially important to mobile users that are used to seeing images on their phone over small, hard-to-read text.

5: Page Fold… A Thing Of The Past!

Having a multi-page website is fantastic for SEO control, but more and more websites are being viewed on mobile devices and clicking on a navigation link can be a hindrance to the user experience. Mobile users seem to prefer scrolling to sections on the page over having to click to navigate. Using this new trend, many websites are being designed as a single page website, or panels are created, to enable a better user experience for individuals using mobile devices.

In Conclusion:

All-in-all, websites seem to be using some intuitive techniques and more modern designs to capture the attention of their website users. We think 2015 will bring even more tools to express your site’s message in a very compelling way for even better user experiences.

What do you think 2015 will bring?

Are you ready to get a jump start on designing your new website? Contact us today to get started! We create beautiful, user friendly and mobile ready website that are innovative and ready for the trends of 2015!

5 Reasons You Need a Responsive Website Design

Responsive Design from ESEO Banner

“Response design” – it’s a fancy term for a simple concept:  making sure your website functions well across all major devices people use to browse the internet these days (smartphones, laptops, tablets, iPads and PCs).

In 2011, approximately 1.15 billion of all internet users browsed the web with a mobile device, which compares to the 1.3 billion that viewed the internet with a desktop computer. Fast forward that to 2014 projections, which have about 1.9 billion mobile internet users, compared to about 1.7 billion desktop internet users (according to’s infographic).

So, now you see from a high level why responsive design is no longer an option… it’s a MUST!

5 More Specific Reasons You Need a Responsive Website

Even though the market demands responsive design, there are many more reasons to develop one, including:

  1. Google demands it for good rankings – Hey, Google’s all about serving up the highest quality results for searchers.  Part of quality means Google evaluates your mobile website design. Search Engine Journal, a leading online magazine on the latest search engine news, notes Google refers to responsive web design as its recommended mobile configuration and even industry best practice.
  2. Easier to manage SEO – The alternative to a responsive design is to create separate websites for separate device types.  If you’re an adept business person, be aware that this requires 2 separate SEO campaigns.  Why not condense both into 1 and cut your internet marketing efforts in half?
  3. It’s cost effective – Not only is responsive website development a good business practice from an SEO perspective, but it’s good from a design perspective too.  Could you imagine how much it would cost to design a separate website for laptops, smartphones, and PCs, and then optimize and manage each for years to come?
  4. Makes life easy for searchers – Today’s instant gratification consumer won’t try to figure out how to best view your website.  If you serve it up for any device they might view it on right away, they’re much more likely to stay around and subscribe to your website.
  5. It’s easy to find critical information – A desktop/laptop design, which has plenty of viewable space, makes it easy to find your contact information and to navigate around your website.  But, if you only designed for a PC, then the design may not display as well for mobile users.  If they have to exert additional effort figuring out how to contact you or use your website, how likely are they to eventually become paying customers?

Responsive is Quickly Becoming the Standard, so Why Not Act Now?

If you don’t already have a responsive design, it’s clear you’ll need one in the very near future. By acting now, you’ll save yourself a ton of headaches down the road.

Doesn’t that make good business sense?

Eminent SEO offers full Mobile and Responsive Website Design and Development services. Give us a call if you need help moving your site into 2013! (800) 871.4130

Jenny Stradling

Owner and CEO at Eminent SEO in Mesa, Arizona. I started doing SEO and marketing work in 2005. I'm a {very} busy mom of 4 and I owe my sanity to my partner in work and life, Chris Weatherall. I love sharing and engaging in business and marketing conversations, and I'm heavy into social media and blogging on these topics. I love coffee, wine, food and other people who enjoy the adventure of seeking out the best places to eat and drink. In my free time (what's that?) you'll most likely find me studying philosophy and spirituality, cooking for my family or relaxing with a nice glass of wine, a funny movie and the people I love.

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4 Reasons Why Website Design is More than Looking Pretty

When you think of a website design, what do you think of?  If you’re like most people, you think of the colors, the buttons, the pictures, and the animations.  Basically, you think about how “cool” the website is.

Even though the coolness of a website is very important (do people really want to engage with uncool websites?), there’s much more to website design than creating a pretty layout.  In fact, there’s much more to it than I can even cover in this blog post.

Is Your Website Responsive?If you’re a business owner, why do you purchase someone else’s services?  You do that because that service either 1) makes you more money or 2) saves you money now.  Your website has much to do with how much money your company makes, especially in the digital age where consumers use tablet PCs, smartphones, laptop PCs, and desktop PCs to conduct 90% of the purchases they need to make.  Here are some more ways in which your web design helps you increase your sales:

  1. Responsive Website Design – The mobile device market is exploding in usage.  Just look at how many people had smartphones just a few years ago – virtually no one.  Now, who doesn’t?  “Responsive design” is a term referring to websites designed to look visually appealing and to be fully functional on all device types – tablets, iPads, smartphones, PCs, laptops, and desktops.  If your design isn’t optimized for all of these devices, you’re missing out on sales.
  2. SEO Friendly Website Design Websites can be designed more (and less) effectively for search engine optimization.  For example, text on flash pages can’t be understood by Google.  Flash also causes slower load times, which Google takes into account when ranking websites.  For the keywords you’re targeting, you should have at least 1 page dedicated to each primary keyword.  The list of SEO-friendly ways to design your website goes on and on, but these examples demonstrate why it’s important to design also with SEO in mind.
  3. Calls-to-Action – Many websites come up short in showing their visitors what action they need to take.  Even though it seems obvious, people are more likely to take your desired action if you tell them what to do.  If your site lacks a clear call-to-action, then people are much less likely to become paying customers.  Pretty websites are engaging, but if they don’t compel visitors to take an action, then they’re just as effective as ugly websites.
  4. Trust Signals – By using the icons of respected authorities like the BBB, icons of well-known clients you’ve served, icons of awards your company has won, icons of certifications or accreditation’s you have, etc. you build a large amount of trust with visitors.  Because trust makes buyers more apt to submit their credit card or pick up the phone and call, trust icons are extremely important for anyone looking to increase their website conversions.

There’s Much More to Effective Website Design, But That’s a Start…

Design is much more complex than this, but hopefully these tips give you the basic idea that a pretty web design is only pretty.  A well-thought-out design, however, increases your sales in an era where everyone shops online for what they need.

Your Not So Typical Holiday Card Generators

This entry was posted in Design, Life and tagged , , on by .

Ready to spread your own brand of ‘Holiday Cheer’? MyType, is a super simple, yet fun way to create your own online greeting card with a lot more customization options.

If you weren’t aware there are some words that are blacklisted with Google. If you feel like sending a not so typical yet offensive greeting card this holiday season, you will surely get that with Google Black Christmas.

JibJab has always been a holiday favorite, since releasing their well known Elf Dancing card awhile back. Their selection of Holiday ecards, has definitely broadened and you can find a little bit of everything while incorporating the faces of yourself and/or your loved ones!

Have you found an awesome Holiday eCard generator site? Feel free to share the link in the comments below and happy card creating!

Team Eminent SEO

Eminent SEO provides strategic SEO campaigns with measurable results along with expert website design, development, pay per click, content and social media and organic website marketing. 800.871.4130.

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