The flashy images, the bright colors, the cool spinning pictures and the loud up beat music…these are all things that may brighten your mood at a night club or hip new gym but do these things belong on your website?
Look at the sites with the highest amount of traffic, and the ones which we frequent most and use daily: Facebook, Yahoo, Google, Drudgereport, CNN, NY Times, FoxNews, Ebay, Amazon…the list goes on. Do those websites fit the description above or are they clean websites with white backgrounds and easy navigation? Exactly.
If your website is getting the traffic and sales you want and it is working for you in your absences then read no further. If you are looking to improve your site and search rankings (SEO) here are some tips:
- BACKGROUNDS must go. Background images may look cool but they can slow down the page loading time and they distract from the end goal – getting visitors to take action with the content you have provided.
- In most cases FLASH is another no go. It may look cool but it is as passé as Y2K. Aside from the fact that flash is basically invisible to the search engines (without a lot of extra work), it will not show up on iPads or iPhones, or most other tablets or mobile devices at this time. Not to mention the additional loading times. The more people that can view your site, the better. There are plenty of alternatives to get that ‘flash look’ with none of the issues.
- MUSIC- May sound great to you but it is more then annoying to everyone else. Think about those late night internet surfing sessions or those times in the cubicle at work when you clicked on a site only to be frantically looking for an off button! If people want to listen to music they will use Pandora or iTunes…not the generic loop playing on your site.
- Can you BLOG from your site? No, not can you link to your blog on blogspot or wordpress.com, but can you actually post new content directly to a blog on your website? Content is king and if you are updating your site with new, relevant information frequently, but that content isn’t on YOUR domain, then you aren’t getting full SEO benefit. If you aren’t blogging at all…then that is something you need to look at doing.
- When you Google your business name or professional name what do you see? You are NOT who you think you are but rather what Google says you are. If your site is coded and tagged properly and has relevant, keyword rich content throughout, it should be on the first page and represent you the way you want to be represented.
- Is your site clean and easy to navigate? Are the tabs logically labeled and easy to find? If a user has to hunt for the information they are looking for, they will click the ‘back’ button as Google has millions of other websites standing by with similar content. Make your content easy to find or your viewers will click off and find it elsewhere.
- Do you know how many unique visitors come to your site daily? If not, why? The beauty of the internet is that everything can be tracked. From where they came from, to where they landed, and how long they stayed. Are you using this data to refine the user experience of your website? Google analytics and Statcounter.com are two good places to start.
Follow these tips and you will separate your website from the millions of other poorly designed websites out there. Remember, people have very short attention spans, so make it easy for them to find what they want.
Brooks Hollan, Natalie Jill, and the 212mvp Team!
212 Marketing | Video | Production