Prescriptions for Online Success Video Series Premier: Dance in the USA

 

Today we’re premiering a new video series, “Prescriptions for Online Success.” Each Friday, we’ll be releasing a new video where The URL Dr. critique’s a small business or nonprofit website. The URL Dr. will be offering advice and suggestions to improve web usability, design, and conversion.

Our first website critique is being done on DanceInTheUSA.com. This website got some great suggestions for ways to improve their overall design and appeal.

If you’d like to have your website critiqued in a future episode, email us at Contact@TheURLdr.com.

Video Transcript:

All right. So our first website since Sue asked so nicely and said, “Please review my site.” We’re going to do danceintheusa.com first. Okay the first thing I see are blurry pictures. So I kind of get the idea that these are probably people in movement and rhythm but these are blurry pictures and that looks bad. I would leave this site without even going any further. My suggestion is get rid of the blurry pictures and get some pictures of your actual students in the actual classes are great, fabulous but get them so we can see them and not that they’re blurry.

Nobody is going to read all the text on this homepage. What I would suggest is pare this down, keep in mind 10 to 20 words that’s it. That’s all they’re going to read on the homepage. Pare this down to what’s really, really important. Everything on this site is one click away. And the header menu, we’ve all been online for many years now so that direction doesn’t need to be there. We all know about the header and we all need to use it. That’s prime real estate that you could have links to your different locations or your classes or something else.

The one thing that I see is . . . so for example I’m up here and I’m looking, so who’s behind this? Who’s giving the classes? Where’s the “About Us” link? There’s no “About Us” link. If I go through here I see “Who we are” under “Welcome” and then I can see, okay, here is our “About us” page. What I would do is I would get this page, this “Who we are” page, I’d rename it “About Us” and I would get in the top navigation here not  underneath “Welcome.” Get rid of “Welcome.”

“Workshops and Events.” Okay, I’m going to go to this page to see what’s going on. And I see we’ve got one class and it’s already taken place. So the information is old. A lot of people are going to get frustrated at this point, they’re going to leave. They’re not even going to look any further. They’re going to think there’s no class that’s coming up. So you want to make sure that all, particularly with any sites that’s got workshops, events, classes that this information is kept to up-to-date at all times.

But are there other classes and things going on? Well I looked at this beforehand so I know that under “Dance Here” we’ve got different things going on in Washington and in Baltimore and in Bethesda. But “Dance Here,” again, unless I took the time to scroll over, I wouldn’t know that that was there. “Dance Here” isn’t a good description. Maybe instead I would rename that “Locations” or “Classes.”

Again the idea is don’t make people think because they won’t. They’ll get frustrated and they’ll leave. So I would redo that. Having your Bethesda classes, your Washington DC, Baltimore underneath that is fine but I would rename this. I would re-layout these pages. Again we’ve got an awful lot of information that somebody has to kind of hunt and peck. Where is the location? Well, yes it’s there on 14th Street but I shouldn’t have to hunt for it. I shouldn’t have to read through this to find it. It should be in bold, it should be very obvious from the first minute I get to this page. I would re-lay this out.

I would also put some images on here. What does Moving the Spirit introductory class look like? We’ve got that underlined, but it’s not a link. Maybe the introductory class would be something that would be good on a landing page all on its own.

Then you could not only have this categorized by the location, but you could also have it categorized by the different classes. Is the introductory class given in Washington, Baltimore and Bethesda? You could have all that information on one page.

And where can I sign up? It would be great if there was a form or that I could even buy the class right here on the site. There’s a lot of programs out there a lot of plug-ins that make that very easy to do.

I would also probably rename “Join My Mailing List/ Contact,” I would rename that “Contact Us.” Get your mailing list sign-up on every page of the site, not just on this one. “Driving Directions” is good.

Having the map here for the Bethesda location is great. But again, you’ve got locations in other places so if I didn’t hit this page, I wouldn’t know that Washington DC and Baltimore were options for me.

A phone number, where’s your phone number? Where can I call? Trustworthiness, the phone number needs to be on every single page and I would probably have it either here or in the header. I would put it in the header to make sure it was very easy to contact you.

Infographic: Where to Use Keywords In Your Website

Where to Use Keywords In Your Web Pages Infographic

 

Optimizing your website is dependent on the proper use of keywords on your pages. Here’s the list of where to use keywords in your website, that accompanies our House Calls video, Where to Use Keywords in Your Web Pages from yesterday. Our example is a page from Constant Contact’s website, where they optimized for the keyword “email marketing.”

Where to Use Keywords In Your Web Pages


Using keywords properly on your web pages is important to get good search engine ranking and also to communicate clearly to your visitor. In today’s House Calls video, The URL Dr. talks about how to optimize your web pages with the use of keywords.

Video Transcript:
Let’s now look at all the places on your web page that you’ll want to use those keywords you spent so much time and attention researching. I’m going to use a web page from Constant Contact as an example, but first let’s see how I found this page. Read more

5 Myths About Search Engines

This week’s House Calls video talks about common myths that the business community has about search engines. The URL Dr. clears up misinformation and sets the record straight.

Video Script:
There is a great deal of misinformation and misunderstanding in the business community about how search engine optimization works. In addition, many business owners have out of date information coupled with practices that have fallen out of favor with the search engines to get your site ranked. This adds up to a muddled mess and many websites that are suffering with poor search engine rankings. Let’s start our SEO discussion by clearing up several myths about the search engines.

Read more

Why Businesses Should Use WordPress

In today’s latest installation of our House Calls video series, The URL Dr. talks about why businesses should use WordPress.

Video Script:
One of the most important reasons to use WordPress is the fact that it’s free. It’s free to download at WordPress.org and any company or individual can use it. WordPress is also available from some web hosts as a one click installation, where you don’t even need to download it. WordPress is open source, which means you can modify it any way that you choose. This openness has created a huge WordPress community of companies and people that exist to support businesses with WordPress websites.
Read more

Q&A With The URL Dr. – Best Practices for Calls to Action?

 Q&A With The URL Dr. – Best Practices for Calls to Action?

In this week’s webinar, “How to Market Your Small Business or Non-Profit Online,” The URL Dr. answered questions about core marketing concepts.   Here’s an excerpt from our Q&A session:

Question:

“Do you have suggestions for best practices for using calls to action?”

Answer:

“You want to make sure that your calls to action are at the top of your webpages, at the top of your emails.  That they are visual and that they are easy to see.  I often get on small business websites with particular colors.  When you land website, where is your eye drawn?  It should not be drawn anywhere but to the call to action.  That’s the most important thing on your website or in your email.  Everything else is just an accessory to that call to action.”

Read more

Q&A With The URL Dr. – Best Time to Post on Social Media?

Q&A With The URL Dr. – Best Time to Post on Social Media?

In this week’s webinar, “How to Market Your Small Business or Non-Profit Online,” The URL Dr. answered questions about core marketing concepts.   Here’s an excerpt from our Q&A session:

Question:

“How do I know the best time to post on social media?”

Answer:

“What you can do is an abbreviated version of what we told you about in this webinar and what we talk about in our email webinars about the best time to send your emails.  You can do the same sort of test with social media.  Watch your social media.  What posts get the most interaction on different times of the day, different days of the week, different subject matter?”

Read more

Q&A With The URL Dr. – What are Garbage Links?

Q&A With The URL Dr. – What are Garbage Links?

In this week’s webinar, “How to Market Your Small Business or Non-Profit Online,” The URL Dr. answered questions about core marketing concepts.   Here’s an excerpt from our Q&A session:

Question:

“What are garbage links?”

Answer:

“Inbound links, these are other websites that are linking to your website, but they don’t have anything to do with your business.  They’re not relevant.  Years ago it was very popular to buy links from ‘link farms.’  They would attach links to your website from thousands of other websites all over the place or overseas that didn’t have anything to do with your company.  When you hear companies talk about being penalized a lot of the time this is what this is from.”

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Q&A With The URL Dr. – How Much do Online Business Directory Listings Cost?

Q&A With The URL Dr. – How Much do Online Business Directory Listings Cost?

In this week’s webinar, “How to Market Your Small Business or Non-Profit Online,” The URL Dr. answered questions about core marketing concepts.   Here’s an excerpt from our Q&A session:

Question:

“Is there a cost associated with claiming listings on online business directories?”

Answer:

“With most of them no.  Now there are some directories that you have to pay for, but the big ones that I listed and the ones that are the most important for you to be in, do not have a cost.  There are free listings available.”

Read more

Q&A With The URL Dr. – Will my Emails Look Good to Mobile Users?

Q&A With The URL Dr. – Will my Emails Look Good to my Mobile Clients?

In this week’s webinar, “Is My Marketing Mobile Friendly and Why Should I Care?,” The URL Dr. answered questions about making your website and email mobile friendly.   Here’s an excerpt from our Q&A session:

Question:

“How can I make sure that my emails look good to mobile users?”

Answer:

“Send it to yourself.  Before you send it out to your audience, you want to make sure to test it.  Send it to yourself, take a look at it on your phone, on your Ipad or other tablet.”

Read more