Archive for August, 2010

How many main navigation links should a website have?

Monday, August 23rd, 2010

The general rule of thumb is no more than 6-7 main navigation links.  The mind can generally absorb about that many links without having to consciously read and think about the situation at hand.  If you do not believe me, go to some random sites and try it.  (There are always sites around with too many main navigation links.)

This rule does not mean you are required to have 6-7 links.  If you can describe your company or non-profit in fewer links, then do so.

If you need more main links, then you will need to group your information and create sub-navigation for some of your links.  You might group information by type of client you expect, or type of visitor.  For instance a non-profit might choose to have a group of links for volunteers, another for donors, and another for program participants.  You can create the sub-groups as either a separate sub-navigation or as part of a drop-down menu.  Good website programing can make these links appear quickly so that someone can get to the information they need quickly.

An Example of How Social Media Gets Recognized by Search Engines

Monday, August 16th, 2010

The power of social media within the world wide web is quite strong.  If you have an active profile in a social media platform and you have active information in that profile, Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc will notice.  I first noticed it when I realized that my profiles in LinkedIn were popping up high on the search engines.  Then we built a site around a social media platform called Elgg.  Although the site has still not gone live, the profile shows up pretty high if you search for Eric Hutton in Nashville.  (Evidently, there are several prominent Eric Hutton’s, so the word “Nashville” is important.)  The link is here:  http://onemillionspeakers.com/pg/profile/mtguyot (at the time of publishing).

All of this means that Elgg would be a great tool for  any company or office made up of semi-autonomous professionals, such as a real estate firm, a law practice, an accounting practice, etc.  It all depends on having the right platform and then using it correctly to get your message out.

SEO–So Close Yet So Far

Monday, August 9th, 2010

I met a new client the other day at a networking event that paid someone to help his site get found in Google/Yahoo/Bing etc.  (We developers call that Search Engine Optimization or SEO.)  He got good results.  More people found his site.

The only thing is that some of his clients were offended when they discovered he did photography for “models.”  He began to fear that he was losing business since people might think he was willing to do more risque items than a simple head shot or fashion spread for a portfolio piece. While such distinctions may not matter in big cities on the coasts, it makes a big difference in the rural South.

The lesson is that someone good at SEO can get your site found for any number of things.  What really matters though is whether they get you found for searches that relate to your business.  Proper Search Engine Optimization will affect the words displayed to your web visitors.  Make sure the person helping you with these tasks are cognizant of how you want to market your services.

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