BASICS OF WEBSITE EFFECTIVENESS
As at the middle of 2011 it was estimated there was a total of 346,004,403 sites on the world wide web. If your business website is going to be found amongst so many, you need to read through the points below. This will help ensure your website effectiveness.
Do you know where your website ranks?
What do you do to ensure that your website is found by your target market?
Once upon a time, many people thought that simply engaging a web designer to create a website would be enough. Some people took comfort in the saying :
“If you build it, they will come”
It is also a fairly common misconception to think that once you have paid for a website and built it that is all you need do.
With over 346million sites on the web it is not difficult to appreciate that getting yours to STAND OUT and BE NOTICED will take a little more than a bold red font and capital letters!
So, What Are the Basics of Website Effectiveness?
“It does what it says on the Tin” Select a Domain name for your website that includes a KEYWORD that your target market will search for. EG if you are a hotel, make sure your domain name includes the word “hotel”. If you rent out apartments include the word “apartments”.
A Thousand Words for a Picture
A Picture Paints a Thousand Words. Yes, indeed it does, and especially so for luxury spending as on tourism related products and services. Entice poeple in with good quality relevant images. Ensure that every single image you use on every single web page has an “Alt Tag”. Search engines cannot “read” pictures. So in order for them to know what is on your page make sure your images are labelled. Make sure your label includes one of the keywords that your web visitors will be using to find your page.
Tell Me How You Can Help Me.
Whilst stunning images may create desire and attract attention you need good quality keyword rich text to explain what you do that benefits your customers. Nothing turns customers off more quickly than talk of “we” and “us”. If you find your text is full of “we” and “us” think of why you do what you do and turn the sentence in to a benefit for the customer. If you can’t do that then leave the sentence out as it is not important.
Headings Help Me See What You Are talking About
Use headings to break up your text. Ensure each page has one (and only one!) unique H1 and no more than two H2 headings. Include your most important keywords in your H1 and H2 tags.
Focus On One Thing at a Time. How many times have we been told this? Well the same goes for each page on your website. Decide what each page is about and target all of your text and images to that matter.
You Are Nothing if I Cannot See You!
Harsh I Know! For Google to acknowledge your website as a contender for ranking on its search engine you need to have a minimum of 20 pages. The more pages you have that google indexes the more likely your website will turn up in google search results. Create interesting and useful content that will keep google happy and also help keep your web visitors on your site that much longer – and therefore more likely to buy.
Meta Data – The Lifeline of Your Website – Ignore it at your peril!
Without it search engines do not know what your website is about. Each page of your website should have unique meta data that includes a Meta Title – this tells search engines what the page is about; a Meta Description – this describes what information is contained on the page; and Meta Keywords – what are the key words used on your page. Whatever you put in your meta data make sure you put on your page – in headings and in the alt tags on images. That way google can be confident about when to list your website in the natural search results.
Make the Signposts Clear & Simple.
Navigating through a website needs to be easy. Try and reduce the number of clicks the web visitors needs to get to where they want to be.
What Do I Do Now?
How clear are your CALLS TO ACTION? Does it stand out on each page how your web visitor can make contact with you? Without strong calls to action your web visitor is likley to leave your site and forget about you…..
Are you Human?
Show your web visitors that you are a real person. People buy from people they like and trust. Integrate social media in to your website so it is easy for people to get to know you and your customers. Use TripAdvisor, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube at a minimum.
Create a google sitemap. Here you will list a direct link to every page on your website. Do this and you keep the google spider very happy. The google spider works all day and all night and when he visits your site he wants to find one page where he can link to every other page on your website. Make it any harder than this and your website will miss out.
Keep Me Updated.
Spend time on your website and keep it up to date. Once your website is registered on search engines you can keep your site in the spotlight by changing the text. Keep it current. Keep it seasonal. Keep it visible!
If you do all of the above I guarantee your website will perform better than most.