5. Structure - Organise Your Web Site And Everyone Will Thank You
Both the search engines and your web visitors prefer a web site that is well structured. The search engines must break down all web sites into elements based on the structure of the pages. People, so frequently rushing to find the specific information they are looking for, rarely read through web pages but rather scan headings and bulleted lists to find the detailed sections of interest. In both cases a well structured site will be far better received then one which in which content is haphazardly thrown together.
This is simple to do - but all too often missed. Make headings, use the correct coding tags for them, organize sections of content into groups, and use bold and bulleted lists to present key points. Keep in mind when writing paragraphs of text that most people will not read them unless they are specifically titled with a headline that matches what they are looking for.
6. Accessibility - A Web Site Thats Speaks To All
Tips 6 and 7 are closely related. The Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) provides a list of guidelines for how to create web sites that are accessible to as many people (and systems) as possible. Think about your web site - can someone with a visual disability (perhaps even something as simple as colour-blindness) still get information about your product or service? If not, how do you feel knowing that you have just excluded a vast segment of the population from accessing your web site?
There are many simple ways that you can ensure your web site is accessible to people with special needs. The specifics are beyond the scope of this article, but be sure that you check with your designer to ensure that your site design and code is following accessibility guidelines.
7. Quality Code - For A Better Performing Web Site
Often business owners don't have too much control over the code used to create their web site, however good quality code can make a big difference to the operational success of you site. Standard compliant code that has been checked for errors is easier for the search engines to assimilate. It is more widely visible across varied platforms and in different browsers. Ensure your web designer is writing standard compliant code that is validated for errors. You can also check your own web site using free online tools from W3C (The World Wide Web Consortium).
8. URLs - Good URL Choice Will Impact Your Site Performance
Professional web designers should already know this - but if you are using a content management system to build your web site, or portions of it, it is important to understand the significance of the URL used to access pages on your web site. Search engines look at the address of every page on your web site and try to extract key-words from the content of the url. For example, on our website we have a page showing clocks and calculators If we created the filename with the filename “page12.html” it wouldn’t rank as well with the search engines as the one we did use “clock-calculator.html.
This is a fairly subtle point but makes a significant difference for most search engines. It can also make it much easier for people that are typing in a URL to access a specific page of your web site. The URL for the page showing our clocks & calculators is “http://www.gopromotional.co.nz/clock-calculator.html” for a reason!
9 Style - Looks Do Matter
In the grand scheme of things the "looks" of a web site in the classic sense are not really that important - honestly! Once people have looked at a web site for a few minutes they will quickly discard their first impression (based on looks) and move immediately to asking if this site is giving me the information I need. Plus they want to find it quickly (go back to tips 1 & 5.)
So what are we on about with style? Simple - ensure the style of your site makes it easy to read. Avoid things like black backgrounds with white text, or too many loud colours. Using all capitalisation should be avoided. Not only is it annoying to read, on the net it is used as a typographic method of indicating you are shouting.
10. Images - Selling A Product - Better Make Sure It Looks Good
If you are selling something that has a visual representation - then professional looking photography is key. Even a multi-million dollar resort or hotel won’t look good if the photographs are amateurish. If you care about what you have to sell and want people to buy the products you sell, then it's worth investing in some professional photographs. Remember, online people can't get a hold of your product so you need to give them some really good photographs that provide confidence in the product.
Posted: Saturday 24 September 2011
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