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Content Evaluation Process

Evaluations are only worthwhile if the results and insight lead to ways to make web sites better. This is a brief reminder of the ADDIE model in which each phase of development requires an evaluation element, with the whole process being a continuous process of design, development, evaluation, and revision.

After completing this module, you will be able to:

  • Differentiate between the types of revisions you will need to make to your Web site over time.
  • Describe why you need to revise your site’s content to meet the needs of your audience.
  • Explain the best methods for revising your site’s interface and technological design.
  • List helpful tips for how to handle overall site revisions.

For more information: csc.noaa.gov/wcde/module09/09.htm

Saturday, December 27th, 2008 Google No Comments

Surveys and Other Indicators of Web Site Content Effectiveness

While server log analysis can provide insight into the effectiveness of Web site content and design, surveys involving individuals and groups provide even greater depth of understanding. And while some people will not have the resources or interest to do thorough analysis of server logs, pathing analysis, etc., most will have the ability to conduct surveys via e-mail, telephone, or personal interview.

After completing this module, you will be able to:

  • Outline the steps of a successful survey project.
  • Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of several survey methods.
  • Describe other indicators of your Web site’s effectiveness.

For more news: csc.noaa.gov/wcde/module08/08.htm

Friday, December 26th, 2008 Google, Search Engine Optimization No Comments

Content Inventory

A content inventory is a list of all the content on your site.If you are revising a Web site, start with a content inventory of what is now on the site. Then, use your Web site requirements to create a planned content inventory for the new version of the site.
If you are developing a new site, of course, you will only have the planned content inventory.
In any situation, you have to know what you are working with. The content (the information) is what your site offers to your users. You have to know what you are now offering and decide whether each piece of it is still needed; still accurate; and still written in the right level of detail, the right tone, and the right language for your users.
Many Web sites grow by accretion. People keep adding pages to the Web site, but few pages ever get taken away. After a while, if you don’t keep a content inventory, no one knows what is on the site. It could have outdated and inaccurate information. It could have pages that contradict each other. It is very hard to maintain a site if you don’t have a content inventory.
If you are developing a new site, setting up a content inventory at the beginning puts you on a good path. If you keep up the inventory as the site matures, you will continue to know what is on the site, how old each page is, when each page has been revised or needs to be reviewed, and so on. For more news: usability.gov/design/inventory.html
Wednesday, December 10th, 2008 Google, Search Engine Optimization No Comments

Online Survey

Online surveys are structured interviews with users, where you display a list of questions online and record user’s responses.

When you conduct an online survey, you have an opportunity to learn many types of information about who the users of your site are, how they use your site, and their opinions about your site. Some information you may want to consider collecting includes:

  • Who are the users of your site?
  • What do users want to do on your site?
  • What information are users looking for?
  • Were users able to find the information they were looking for?
  • How satisfied are users with your site?
  • What experiences have users had with your site or similar sites?
  • What do users like best about your site?
  • What do users like least about your site?
  • What frustrations or issues have users had with your site?
  • Do users have any ideas or suggestions for improvements?

Surveys can also be used to allow users to rate or rank the features on your site or provide ideas for future improvements.

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2008 Google No Comments

Prototype

A prototype is a draft version of a Web site. Prototypes allow you to explore your ideas before investing time and money into development.

A prototype can be anything from:

  • A series of drawings on paper (called a low-fidelity prototype)
  • A few images or pages that a user can click through
  • A fully functioning Web site (called a high-fidelity prototype)

Prototypes can be built at any time but you should create them as early as possible.

You can start with a prototype of the home page and a few navigation pages to find out if the information architecture you planned will work for your site’s users. To learn more, see the article on how to define information architecture. You may also want to base your prototypes on the designs that you are creating by using Parallel Design.

Monday, December 1st, 2008 Google, Search Engine Optimization No Comments

Government Using Social Networks

NASA built its own community building, collaborative workspace site. NASA’s CoLab program develops and supports online and offline communities collaborating with NASA. With the involvement of many NASA centers, CoLab provides frameworks for partnership projects between the nation’s space program and talented, creative, tech-savvy communities. In addition to getting people more interested and involved with the space program, CoLab provides a way for individuals to actually contribute to NASA.

Many government agency networks and groups have sprung up on sites like Facebook. EPA’s facebook network, for example, has over 750 members anyone with an EPA email address can become a member of the group. There are similar examples for most agencies.

USA.gov started a Facebook USAgov page in March 2008, for RSS feeds, videos, photos, and other news. The public is invited to become a “fan” of that page.

The CIA has used Facebook to invite students to apply to work at the agency.

Friday, October 17th, 2008 Google No Comments

RSS Feeds

RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication (among other things). It is a web content format which, when used with an RSS aggregator, can allow you to alert users to new or exciting content on your website. These news feeds enable users to avoid the conventional methods of browsing or searching for information on websites. Now the content they want is delivered directly to them.

RSS feeds are commonly used on weblogs (blogs), news web sites and other places with frequently updated content. Once users subscribe to an RSS feed, they can gather material from web sites of their choosing. It’s a very convenient format because it allows users to view all the new content from multiple sources in one location on their desktop.

Tuesday, October 14th, 2008 Google, Search Engine Optimization No Comments

Social Media

Social Media is an umbrella term that defines the various activities that integrate technology, social interaction, and content creation. Social media use the “wisdom of crowds” to connect information in a collaborative manner online. Through social media, individuals or collaborations of individuals create web content, organize content, edit or comment on content, combine content, and share content. Social media uses many technologies and forms, including RSS and other syndicated web feeds, blogs, wikis, photo-sharing, video-sharing, podcasts, social networking, social bookmarking, mashups, widgets, virtual worlds, micro-blogs, and more.

Some Forms of Social Media

  • Blogs
  • Microblogging
  • Podcasting
  • RSS Feeds
  • Social Networks and Government
  • Wikis
  • Virtual Worlds

Thursday, October 9th, 2008 Google No Comments

Five reasons that Google uses to rank websites

Page rank: Every site is given a page rank from zero to ten. The basic rule that can increase a page rank is to get links from other websites and limit the number of links going out to other sites.

Incoming links:
The quality of links is an important factor. Google looks for sites that have natural link popularity. It means that a variety if sites have to be linked and not just one type. Also link text is important. Relevance of the links is also important

Page titles:
This is one of the most important factors of the page that the algorithm looks at.

Keyword density:
If keywords are used too many times then it is a sign of spam to Google and will actually hurt the sites ranking. A good idea is to keep keywords density lower and instead use related keywords.

Age of domain:
The age of a domain can be a friend or enemy for SEO. Newer domains are difficult to be ranked but domains that are two years old are much easier.

Monday, October 6th, 2008 Google, Search Engine Optimization No Comments

Six Simple Ways to Dominate Google Rankings!

The reason why Google is the most winning search engine in the world is because they provide the best search results; pages ranked by concrete value. That value is a combination of content and links, with links being the more important factor. Here are some tips that will help you to take full advantage of Google’s love of linking…

1. Link deep and with significance

Google figured out that a link to a homepage is good if that page has the information for the visitor needs. If an individual clicks a link for “chocolate chip cookie recipe” and ends up on the home page, which doesn’t have it, Google considers it as a wasted link. If the link leads to the page contain info on the “Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe,” even five levels deep, the link will have huge value to the visitor and to Google.

Want proof? You’ve ever used Google’s Ad Words pay per click service. They will not even accept PAID links to pages that are not relevant for their visitors, despite of what you are willing to pay per click.

2. Utilize Absolute Links Internally

Absolute links are one with a fixed full URL. There’s a different kind, called “relative” links that skip the first part of the domain and remain “relative” to the file constitution. Here’s the absolute link to Google Ads page from Google’s homepage: “http://www.google.com/intl/en/ads/”

It might look like as a relative link: “./intl/en/ads/”

Absolute links aid your SEO efforts and relative links don’t.

3. Employ Keywords in Anchor Text

Use related keywords in your link anchor text Forget about “Click here” you see on so many sites. Not only it helps your ranking, also it lowers the relevancy of your actual keywords since Google believes that if a word is important enough it will be used as part of a link to get the visitor where they want to go.

4. Pursue the 1% solution

Make not more than 1% of your page text into links. And don’t overuse the same keyword text for links. If you have three mentions each of three different keywords, use each just once in a link.

Example: If “chocolate chip cookies” is your chief keyword you might use “chocolate chip cookies” as the anchor text for one link and “my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe” for another link.

It’s also a good to use 10 Links Max per page whether you have 1,000 words or more on that page.

5. Adjoin a Link Failsafe

This is simple and almost nobody does it. Links get broken sometimes because we moved a page and sometimes it has nothing to do with anything we did. The solution is to make a custom 404 page that looks like any other page on your site and have simple note like “We’re sorry we cannot find the page you are looking for. However, if you love cookies of all kinds we think you’ll find exactly what you want by clicking on one of the following links…”

6. Get the most excellent Links Possible

This is very important often overlooked since it could be difficult and time consuming job. Finding the finest possible inbound links is the most important thing you can do to make the number one spot on Google.

Here are three tips to minimize your time and effort as giving you results SEO experts charge an arm and a leg for.

A. Get scheduled in directories.
Submit your site to top directories like Jayde.com and DMOZ.org. If they link to your site you would have great relevant inbound links and instant credibility with Google.

Here are some great free directories starting with the best… dmoz.org, jayde.com, webworldindex.com, turnpike.net, and directoryvault.com. Yahoo is vital but charges $299 for commercial site inclusion.

B. Use “Special Commands” to perform the legwork for you.
The best linked sites could be easily found with a search command called “allinanchor:”Go to Google and type “allinanchor:keyword goes here”. Now hit Enter and you see the sites that have the maximum relevancy for keywords used in anchor text. Look for any competitors and outrank your site.

Now take the URL and use this command “link:www.theirdomain.extension”. This will show you every sites linking and internal pages linking back in.

In short, these two gives you an inside look at accurately how the competition does as it with the results they get. This is huge!

C. Use high-quality SEO software whenever possible.
If you could afford to spend one or two hundred dollars to save enormous amounts of time and get professional results, it’s fine worth it. Like many SEO professionals whose livelihood depends on results, I was using SEO software to get top search engine placement for years. The best ones help you to identify great link partners and also to contact them and make sure they don’t cheat you. I use SEO Elite and still amazed by all it can do.

If possible, get a tool that does rank checking and reporting. Once you start check rankings so often and an automated tool will save you time. I bought SEO Elite chiefly for rank checking then discovered it was worth as linking tool as well. So any tool you use, get much out of it as you can.

Thursday, July 24th, 2008 Google No Comments
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