Jon is an SEO and online marketing expert who talks about the features of a top-ranking, high-performance website.
This paraphrased excerpt describes website features to include and avoid to drive traffic to your website.
We have already discussed many of these items individually in our blog posts at Hotpink Websites, but thought it would be advantageous to include this summary here.
So please use this short checklist when designing your next website, to create a site that attracts and retains visitors:
When traveling anywhere, humans will always tend to take the easiest or shortest route.
Same on your website.
Make it easy to navigate by having a clear menu bar at the top of each page.
Keep the basic look of each page consistent. Change only the content.
Don’t make it cluttered and hard to read.
Most pages require some scrolling, so use a sidebar and footer area at the bottom of the page for extra information at your readers fingertips.
Make your text large enough and easy to read
I have written about this many times.
Make your text large enough to read. Pretty basic, but many sites use small fonts that are hard to read.
Bear in mind your target market – baby boomers will have more difficulty reading websites with small fonts.
Make sure that your text colour has a high contrast to your background colour.
Keep your text well spaced, and use lots of new paragraphs. You may notice that I rarely use more than 2 sentences in 1 paragraph.
Use the Paragraph Styles in your website to highlight headings and important points.
Do not be afraid to use other editing features in your website editor, such as the Quotation display, and even good old BOLD, ITALICS and CAPITAL LETTERS to make your point.
But do not go overboard with it!
Save underlining of text for hyperlinks, so as not to confuse or irritate your visitors.
Web surfers have come to expect all links in content copy to be underlined and blue. Always follow this standard.
Wiki defines a splash page as “a comic book page that is mostly or entirely taken up by a single image or panel.”
And a splash screen as “an image that appears while a game or program is loading. The term may also be used to describe an introduction page on a website. Splash screens cover the entire screen . . . “
In the website context, it will often be set up to force the reader to enter an email address before proceeding to the actual website content.
This has it’s uses if you are targeting a very unique niche, or is people are going directly to the site from your personal recommendation.
But otherwise, why would you work so hard to bring traffic to your website, then make visitors choose whether to enter when they get there?
Don’t put un-necessary roadblocks on your website.
Click and scroll
Making a visitor click, scroll or move the mouse to navigate your website increases the risk of losing that visitor.
So make it easy for people to find the key info that you want to convey to them, and/or, that they are searching for.
Limit scrolling to long articles and detailed pages such as sales pitches, and always keep it to less than 8 screens.
Ever been to a website where sound suddenly starts blaring out at you.
Most embarrassing if you are at work at the time !! LOL
So if your customers are browsing your website during their work hours and have to close it down in a panic because of the sound . . . how does that help you?
You want to keep people on your site as long as possible, so do nothing to make them want to close it down quickly.
Auto-start sound is annoying and deadly.
And if you really, really must have sound on your website, make sure to have a very large and clear “turn sound off” button near the top.
Background images have they place, but most are amateurish and do not add to the website.
Also, if you are not careful, background images can slow down load time of your website.
Just as we said for background images, large image files can slow the loading of your website.
Before adding images to your website, use graphics software to reduce the file size of your pictures. This will use less disk space and download faster.
Even photos taken with your iPhone are often 3,000 or more pixels wide, while your average website is only 900 – 1,000 pixels wide. So not much point at this stage of keeping the original image size.
People don’t like to wait for your page to load, and so they will leave if it takes too long.
Remember the last time you went to the bank or a shop and saw a queue. Did you even stop?
Compress your files.
Open external links in new window
Providing external links, (outside of your website), is an important part of providing online information.
But make sure that you are not navigating people away from your website by opening the new page over your page.
Always open external pages, (and even some internal pages where appropriate), in a new window so that your website is still there when they are finished with the other page.
Important information on every page
Make sure that the most important information is on every page of your website and can be easily found.
This might include your contact details, your special offers, your newsletter subscription offer, etc.
Links to your
Your visitors will often want to get back to your home page, so make sure that button appears on every page of your site. Don’t make them use the back button in their browser.
Include your menu bar on every page.
Unique and original
Never copy and paste content from other websites.
It may seem like an easy solution to creating content, but Copyright infringement is serious.
More importantly than Copyright though are the search engines who can hit you hard for copy and pasting content from other sites.
Content is “king” always for SEO and content that is original and valuable is the ultimate with your SEO strategy.
Test your site
Once your site is built, whether you do it it or have someone else do it for you, always thoroughly test it.
Anything that does not work, does not display, does not load will annoy your viewers and make your business less professional than it is.
Broken links can also have a negative effective on your search engine ranking as well.
To be really thorough, check it with different browser types, and on mobile devices and tablets as well.
And because you’ve been working on your site for a while, it is easy to miss details . . . so get some friends of family to check it for you and give feedback on ease of use and successful operation.
You can use the XENU broken link checker tool at home.snafu.de/tilman/xenulink.html including looking for duplicate content titles, types, sizes of pages and more.
Get it Done For You
Or, you can take the easy way out and get it all Done For You by Hotpink Websites.
Well, that is quite simple really!
What should you do now?
- Review your website for these features.
- Make the necessary changes to get better results with your website.
- Want some help or ideas? Just contact us at Hotpink Websites now.
Happiness is not something you postpone for the future; it is something you design for the present.
Remember – Some Basics of Good Web Design