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Sitemaps Best Practices Including Large Web Sites via @MarketingHits

One of the key Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategies for web sites is to have high quality sitemaps helping search engines to discover and access all relevant content posted on that web site. Sitemaps offer this really simple way for site owners to share information with every search engine about the content they have on their site instead of having to rely solely on crawling algorithms (ie: crawlers, robots) to find it.

The Sitemaps protocol defined at www.sitemaps.org, is a now widely supported. Often web sites and some Content Management Systems (CMSs) offers sitemaps by default or as an option. Bing even offers an open source server-side technology, Bing XML Sitemap Plugin, for websites running on Internet Information Services (IIS) for Windows® Server, as well as Apache HTTP Server.

Source: www.searchenginejournal.com

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New Media vs Old Media Billionaires #infographic via @MarketingHits

Mark Zuckerberg versus Rupert Murdoch. How much faster did the new media billionaires make their money?

We know that new media businesses are growing at a much faster pace than their old media counterparts. I thought it would be interesting to see just how this is affecting these wealthy businessmen in the media industry. How much faster did these new media billionaires make their money? 

Source: www.staff.com

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Are You Sharing Other People’s Content? Here’s How to Do it Right #contentcuration via @MarketingHits

Let’s face it — continuously coming up with new and fresh content to keep your email readers, followers, and fans engaged isn’t easy.


It may be part of the reason why you skipped sending your latest newsletter, or why you haven’t made the type of commitment to a site like Facebook or Twitter that you’d had hoped to.


But what if there was a way to ease some of your content burden, and still get awesome results?

Source: blogs.constantcontact.com

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15+ Awesome Food Web Designs & One BIG Mistake Your Design Can Learn From via @Curagami

Marty Note
Food Websites are great places to learn key elements of web design such as:

* Sensual and romantic images.
* Great mouth watering headlines.
* Visual marketing storytelling.

I like http://www.whitmansnyc.com/ and Soup Peddler. Whitmans BRANDS a hamburger beautifully. Food is HARD to shoot. Food can easily look TERRIBLE in a picture especially a picture with limited web resolution. Whitmans solves that problem creatively with a thin transparent layer between us and the burger. Well done!

Soup Peddler, in the example shown, is the ONLY site that includes PEOPLE. Foodies have “widget-itis” worse than techies. Widget don’t sell as well as PEOPLE.

The SINGLE possible exception to that rule might be a foodie site, the one in 10M foodie sites that creates INCLUSION with their food. Whitman’s is close since a hamburger is a universal thing, but the site remains a tad sterile due to lack of community.

If you scroll down below Whatman’s hero you will see another pet peeve. WHY do web designers EVER let someone show an interior image WITHOUT PEOPLE.

Yes the lines are clean and the emptiness is sort of beautiful, but think about the NONVERBAL communication sent by an empty room. How long do you stay in an empty room when there is a party going on next door?

Food Heroes
So, foodie sites need people. There are several ways I would work people into the equation so the story being  told feels more inclusive and fun:

* Chef as Hero.
* People with SMILES looking UP at chef or waitstaff.
* Fan as hero (with story).

Food heroes (largest image on the page = hero) need to be QUIET and CONFIDENT. Too much NOISE or any WEAKNESS and we don’t trust a website (or eat their food).

The CHEF is a hero that WORKS for any restaurant. Seeing Wolfgang Puck creates a brand. Seeing a chef wearing whites with a slightly stained towel over his (or her) shoulder says, “My food is so amazing you haven’t LIVED until you’ve eaten here”.

Instead of EMPTY rooms the picture is smiling, well dressed people looking up at the Chef or waitstaff listening in rapt attention. Better if dishes are gone b/c signals meal is over and everyone is still smiling (a tacit endorsement).

DON’T STAGE THIS PHOTO. Shoot it when a group is in for dinner (with permission and releases). Share the event and caption the photo. NEVER stage actors in food websites. Canned art + food says NO TRUST and DANGEROUS.

If your fans are MODEL good looking TELL THE STORY of the event that prompted the picture. What was being celebrated, shared or discussed. If the group is a nonprofit your restaurant supports MORE THE BETTER as you can tell 2 stories in one (risky but worth it).

Finally, you can feature a fan in your hero, BUT same “no canned or artificial” photos here either. ALSO, click me through to a page of pictures of other fans and stories (why they wanted to share their picture and story about FOOD i.e. make sure people know they aren’t related :).

Food is SO individual, what I like and what you like can be very different, so think about the 5 stories you need to tell that “star” your content (i.e. tells the stories that cover the rainbow of your food’s tribes).

One story shares love of sauces and sweet. Another story tells the visual romance story. Another might discuss meeting the chef and getting to know the “people behind the scenes”.

Sharing different and strategically savvy stories creates the “like me” connection with the different tribes your food, restaurant and content should attract. Every restaurant has a passion. Share that passion.

Also share the reception the food creates, the passion others have for the food. Tell those stories in those ways and your foodie (or other) website wins hearts, minds and loyalty.

Source: www.webdesignerdepot.com