There is always some room for improvement in very website. Is your site lacking (or in need of a bit of sprucing up)? Here are some key areas to consider.
- Navigation – How easy is it for visitors to find their way around your site and find information? If your site’s navigation is not simple, intuitive and easy to find visitors are likely to leave your site in a hurry.
- Readability – Is the text easy to read? A big mistake I see often is a site filled with too many fonts in too many different sizes. This makes your site look cluttered and hard to read. Ideally you should use no more than one or maybe two different fonts. You can be a little more flexible with font size but you must be careful to stay consistent throughout your site.
- Color Scheme – This can be another tricky area. You want to be sure your color scheme enhances your site rather than detracts from it. Generally you want to stick with four or five main colors. Sometimes only two or three are ideal is just depends on the site. Like too many fonts, too many colors can make your site seem overly busy and distract visitors from your message. In fact an overly aggressive color scheme can actually drive visitors away from site.
- Browser Compatibility – There are many different browsers out there and you want your site to look the same not matter which browser your visitors may be using. You can use the free browser compatibility tool here to check and see what your site looks like in different browsers.
- Website Statistics – Are you tracking your site’s stats? You should be. If your site is a WordPress site I strongly recommend you add the WP-Stats plugin to your site. For all other sites consider adding Google Analytics. They are both totally free and easy to set up. Google Analytics does requires adding a few lines of code to your site. Both can tell you how many visitors you are getting, where they are coming from, how long they stay as well as what pages they visited while on your site… and much much more.
- Contact Us – You may not realize it but simply adding a contact form to your site can increase the amount of responses that you receive. You also really need to make sure you have a lead generation form as well (an opt-in form for a newsletter or to access a free report or something similar).
Search Engine Optimization
- No Frames – if your site currently has frames you need to contact me right away! Using frames in your site makes it nearly impossible for your site to be optimized so that it can be effectively indexed by search engines.
- Page Titles and Descriptions – Good (and unique) page titles and meta descriptions are essential to good SEO and they can improve your click through rates.
- A Sitemap – While this is not necessary for every site it is a great idea for larger site or sites with many sub pages. Is your site a WordPress site? Then you need Google’s sitemap plugin. It creates a search engine friendly site map automatically and updates it automatically too!
- Site/Page URL’s – Improve your page links easily by putting keywords in them. Remember, don’t use underscores use dashes instead and avoid using ampersands (&), questions marks or equal signs.
- Heading Tags – These are a way of using HTML to tell the search engines exactly what your site is all about. The HTML code for these tags is h1, h2, h3, h4, h5, h6. Ideally you want to include keywords in these tags whenever possible.
- Inbound Links – This is exactly what it sounds like… links to your site from other sites. But you don’t want links from just any site. You don’t want links to you site on those huge link sharing type sites (sites with nothing but links to other sites). Linking to these types of sites will actually get you penalized by the search engines. A few good ways to get quality inbound links is to add a link to your site to your signature on all forums and message boards you normally post to. Add comments to well read blogs that relate to your site.
The Devil Is In The Details
- Stickiness – Is your site sticky? Does it attract and keep your visitors? A few easy ways to increase your sites sticky factor is too a poll or contest or even a forum…basically anything that encourages your visitors to stick around.
- Fresh Content – Another important way to increase traffic to you site is to keep your site fresh and ever changing. Add a blog to your site and write something new everyday. Not only do search engines love this it gives your visitors a reason to come back to your site often.
- Broken Links – Make sure you check your site for broken links (both internaly as well as out bound links). This is extremely frustrating for your visitors and you want a visit to your site to be a totally positive experience.
- Copyright Info – While there is an implied copyright for all websites it is a very good idea to make sure you include one in the footer of your site.
- Check your spelling (and grammar) – This is one of those little things that matter A LOT. Correcting (or preventing) this type of error goes a long way toward building trustworthiness in your site.
- Advertising/Monetizing – Be careful to have a good balance between useful content and the volume of ads on your site.
- Custom Error Pages – Having custom error pages allows you to replace the default and not very user friendly ones with your own… that can include you website header, logo and menu bar. BTW, if your site is a WP site it does this automatically!
- Favorite Icon – Go to Google.com and in your browser’s address bar you will see a big blue G next to the URL. This site has a very small daisy on a blue background. That is a favorite icon (favicon for short). Don’t have one? No problem, I can build one for you. Just remember it must be something simple and small, like a single letter. Not only will this show up in their menu bar but it will also be right beside any page from your site that they bookmark.
- Your Contact Info – Having your contact info in an easy to find location adds instant credibility to your site. It doesn’t have to be your address; a phone and email are enough.
Did you find some areas of your site which needs some sprucing up? Contact us today and we will help you make your site the best it can be.