Kristina Kledzik's Posts

DistilledLive Catch Up: Responsive Web Design

Last Monday, our Seattle office held a meet up about responsive design. We were lucky enough to get Matt Fordham, technical director at Wintr, to explain the fundamentals behind responsive design itself, and I made my argument for why responsive is so great for SEO. If you aren’t lucky enough to live in Seattle (or just weren’t able to make it Monday night), we’ve got all the details here.

The Case for Building Good Mobile Sites

I’m not going to start building the case for mobile in general, because most of you already have mobile sites. Most of you had mobile sites in 2010. The problem is, a lot of companies have bad mobile sites.

Mobile isn’t something you can keep neglecting. 50% of teens and 45% of young adults access the internet primarily through their phones already1, and that number is only going to grow as phones get cheaper and better.

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How to Perform a Content Audit

One of my favorite things about going to conferences is all of the exciting ideas you come away with. At MozCon 2013, which just ended yesterday, the focus was on creating quality content strategies.

But unless you’re building a brand new company right now, the site you’re working on probably already has a good amount of content. It might be tempting to ignore it and set off on a new campaign, but there are a number of reasons you want to analyze the current content on the site first:

  • You can learn which content is most successful by identifying pages that are already doing well
  • You can learn what doesn’t work and steer away from that
  • You can find holes in the types of content you provide
  • Clever content attached to a shitty site will not make those shitty pages convert, it will make visitors abandon the clever content
  • Duplicate content or an excess of low quality pages could hurt your site as a whole, including that new, mind-blowing content you’ve just added

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Choosing the Right Mobile Site Platform

A few months ago, I wrote a post on SEOmoz about responsive web design, and how good it can be for SEO. A fellow Distiller, Bridget Randolph, followed up with a post about how to optimize a separate mobile site. Both got a lot of attention: we’re getting to the point now where having a well-optimized mobile site is becoming a necessity rather than an option. The question is, which format is right for YOUR site?

To help you choose the best format for your site, Bridget and I decided to put together a best practice guide to Building Your Mobile Friendly Site, which we’ve just launched today. It discusses important points about design, development, search engine optimization, and web analytics for both separate and responsive sites. The first step, though, is choosing which type of site you’re going to build.

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Guide to Site Navigation for SEO

When SEOs talk about navigation, we tend to stick to the technical side of things: “Make sure that you have internal links to every page on your site.” “Don’t put too many navigation options on a page because you’ll have too many internal links.” “Load your drop down link content before JavaScript so that search engines can read it.”

Website creators have to put navigation together on their own, gathering bits and pieces from different articles around the web. So, I’ve put all the tidbits together, creating a guide to building site navigation that’s optimal for search engines (and visitors, too, never forget your visitors!).

Universal Navigation

When visitors come to your site, you want them to figure out how to navigate quickly. Most websites have a navigation strip at the top of every page that stays the same, with links to the major sections of the site. (Some sites like Amazon and Smashing Magazine have this on the left.) Distilled’s looks like this:

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Why PPC Should Be a Part of Your Online Marketing Strategy

If you’re an SEO, it’s easy to discount the role of PPC in overall online marketing strategy. When most other types of online marketing succeed, they improve search engine optimization: content increases backlinks, usability increases conversion rate and makes our search traffic more profitable, and social media and email marketing both increase user engagement. But if PPC succeeds, you had to pay Google to send visitors to your site, which feels like an SEO failure.

After working for months to secure a top spot on a search engine results page and losing the click to the PPC team’s ad they wrote and targeted in under an hour, SEOs can feel like the straight-laced athletes losing the race to the herculean competitor that we know is doping. “They might be winning now,” we think jealously, “but SEO is long term. SEO will win in the end.”

And that’s true, to an extent. SEO is long term: you’re never going to get immediate results. With PPC, you absolutely can. But that’s what makes them great together: they have opposing strengths and can fill in for each other.

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