HOW TO MAKE YOUR WEBSITE LOOK & PERFORM BETTER –
If done properly, your website can be one of the best marketing tools for your business. Your site is an interactive online gallery or storefront that’s open 24/7. Here are some basic DO‘s and DON’Ts that all websites should follow to ensure a great user experience:
Do: Have a website that’s optimized for smartphones and tablets. Whether it’s a responsive design or a separate version from your desktop one, it’s more than likely that over 50% of your visitors are viewing your site with a device that’s not a desktop or laptop.
Don’t: Think that a fixed site framework is good enough. Having a website that’s responsive to the user’s viewing device means better usability for your visitors.
MARKETING: NEWSLETTERS/ BLOG
Do: Engage with your audience by writing a regular newsletter or blog. Add a ‘Sign up’ button to your website to grow your audience. Use professional email campaign software, i.e. Mailchimp (which is free!).
Don’t: Style or send newsletters directly from your personal email account. Styling markup displays differently depending on platform/ email clients; if it looks good in your email program there’s no guarantee it will still look good when it arrives to a different mail box.
Do: Research and define your social media strategy; what will work best for your business? Add your social media links to your website, e.g. Twitter, LinkedIn, FB, Instagram, Google Plus.
Don’t: Waste time on social media that are irrelevant to your business.
SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)
Do: Add a SEO plugin, and manage your meta keywords and descriptions for every page. Integrate Google Analytics to check which pages on your website work best and how visitors find you.
AUDIO & VIDEO
Do: Take advantage of media providers like YouTube, Vimeo and Soundcloud to store your videos and audio. Using YouTube or Vimeo as your video provider, and Soundcloud as your audio channel, means you can embed your video and audio easily into your own site, and you know it will work (stream) across devices.
Don’t: Automatically play video or audio when a page loads. Most users find that annoying which means their first impression of your site won’t be a great one.
A new visitor to your website will form a first impression in two-tenths of a second! In about 2.6 seconds users will focus their attention on the area that most influences their first impression.
Don’t: Since iOS doesn’t support flash, anything using flash (page intros, navigation menus, audio & video) won’t work. Best practice – ditch the flash!