7 Ways to Improve Your Website

By: Dave Kramer Saturday February 1, 2014 comments

HTML5

There is a new HTML on its way to the main stream, called HTML5. The current HTML that has been operating on the Internet has been in use for over 10 years and you have probably noticed how much the Internet has changed in the past 10 years. High speed Internet access is much more prevalent, along with the use of smart phones, and tablet computing.

We are more connected than ever and our experience has improved quite a bit as well. Remember the clunky webforms and navigation of websites 10 years ago? Things are now smoother and more interactive. We now listen to music streamed over the Internet. We also watch movies and other video content. All of this is being provided by third party add-ons and workarounds that ride on an old HTML that was never intended for the advancements that we have made over the past 10 years. The new HTML5 will bring new functionalities that make the Internet experience even more engaging, and brings a new structure to your content that will likely change the game of SEO once again.

All of the top browsers are currently supporting HTML5 and HTML4 right now. Don’t worry about your current website becoming unusable anytime soon, but if you don’t take advantage of the new features of HTML5, your competitors will likely have more engaging websites and better compatibility with all the different screen sizes from desktop computers, to tablets, to mobile phones – and anything else that comes along. HTML5 also provides a simpler mobile browser experience, especially when it comes to video, as it does not require any additional software to be installed in order to play on a mobile device. If you are considering a re-design or building a new website – I highly recommend that you make sure it is built with the new HTML standard.

Validation

Just as we all agree how much a pound weighs, and how long exactly a foot is, there is also an organization that sets the standards for web technologies such as HTML.

This organization is called The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). Just as standardization guarantees that when you buy a gallon of gas it is truly a gallon, the W3C helps to standardize how code works on the Internet and therefore help to ensure that the same website will appear the same way on different browsers, mobile devices, and tablets.

You can check to see how well your website is doing by visiting http://validator.w3.org/

Mobile Ready

It is estimated that by 2015, the majority of Internet traffic will be from mobile devices and not from laptops and desktops. Is your site mobile ready? It may look ok on your phone, but how does it look on other makes and models of mobile devices? Is it easy for mobile users to quickly find what they are looking for? These are all things to consider when designing or re-designing your website for the next decade.

Content

Many things have changed about the Internet over the years, but one thing has remained constant – content.

Whether it is a webpage, chat room, blog, RSS feed, MySpace or Facebook – the Internet is a means of transferring ideas through communication – and the majority of that communication is via written text. The biggest mistake I consistently see is the mentality that “if you build a website (or have a facebook account) customers will be lined up to buy your product or service." This just isn’t true.

Just having a website or facebook account - even if it is the most gorgeous page in the world - will do very little to further your goals. It is through communicating with your visitors and providing quality, well thought out, unique content that your web presence will have meaning, and therefore increase visits, referrals, likes, repins, shares, bookmarks, backlinks and all of the things that a website owner likes to see. 

No one else is as passionate about what you do than you are. No one else can write about your passions like you can. This is not a task that you can send overseas. This is not a task that you can hire a local writer to do. You must take the time to sit down and pour out all of the knowledge, passion, ideas, experiences, teachings and philosophies that make your approach unique (and therefore better than what the competition has to offer). This is known as your “unique value proposition” – and it is vitally important to the success of your business.

Engagement

When you are looking for something on the Internet, what makes you decide to stay on a webpage or leave? Have you ever left a website because they used Arial font when you prefer Times New Roman? Have you ever left a website because you did not appreciate the color scheme they chose? More than likely, you will put up with basic design elements that are not quite to your tastes if you perceive the site may have what you are looking for. If you identify what your visitors are looking for and present that information quickly and effectively, your visitors are more likely to stay on your website.

This is not about you and your preferences. It is about what will make your visitors happy. If you give them what they are looking for, you will have a constant flow of traffic.

Get Information from the Visitor

One of the most often missed elements to an effective website is gathering the visitor’s information. This can be done with a lead box wherein you collect the visitor’s name and email, a “Contact Us” form, or invitations to join you on social media. Whatever method you prefer, get the visitor’s info before they leave and you can never contact them again.

Analytics & Webmaster Tools

I am surprised by how many web developers are building sites without incorporating or explaining the incredible value of Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools. These FREE tools help you to understand the visitors to your website, where they came from, how they found you, which of the pages on your website are most liked, and also errors and problems on your website that may cause Google to rank you lower than your competitors.

Google is actually telling you what they want to see you do to improve your websites ranking – for free!

 

Dave Kramer

About the Author: Dave Kramer

My goal is to provide small business owners with the marketing, productivity, and commerce tools they need to make their business a success!

I am passionate about small business and helping small business owners to succeed in business through the use of technology and tracking systems to identify those areas in their business that can be improved. I enjoy the rush of being a part of a business that is growing.  It is so exciting to have helped so many business owners and their staff to improve efficiency.



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