We all want to put our best foot forward online. You can make a positive and lasting impression through your social media profiles, your online films and your website. If you can get all three working together at once, you’re laughing! Let’s focus on your website… we asked Steven Oddy of SO Technology to share his expert opinion on what makes a good website. Here’s what he said:
Good Content Makes a Good Website
It’s usually what will make visitors come to your site and stay on the site for longer. It’s also what makes Google prefer your site more than others. Google is looking for information more than anything else.
Once you have got good content it’s a good idea to employ a professional web agency to organise and display that information in a clear and exciting way so that it keeps visitors engaged as opposed to getting lost and annoyed and leaving the site.
On one hand it’s important to provide as much information as possible for Google, but also remember that you have visitors to please so a professional web agency will help you break content up with images and graphics and nicely laid out pages. In turn, visitors will stay on your site for longer and this is something Google will also notice.
Another thing to consider is using experienced coders to hand code the HTML and CSS, which is used to display your site. This will mean that it loads quickly, displays properly in all the major browsers, including mobile devices, is searchable by Google in the best
possible way, and works well with screen readers and similar tools for disabled visitors.This is something that directly effects your Google rankings.
Updating your site and adding new content often is a must if you’re aiming for good Google rankings and more visitors. If your site stays the same, visitors will get bored and you will slide down the Google listings. Having a WordPress blog installed on your site is a great way of easily adding new content and WordPress sites rank really well with Google. For this reason it’s a good idea to build your entire site on top of the WordPress platform as well as utilising the blog functionality. It will index well with Google, and it will be super easy for you to update.
Having a blog actually leads us on to a common pitfall – not updating it. If you have a news or blog section on your site, and it was last updated in 2009 then you’re better off not having a news section at all.
Another common pitfall to avoid is relying on the use of flash. There still seems to be lots of “to be” website owners who will see something flashy and animated and want it on their site. As we all know, Apple mobile devices don’t support flash. As there are 200 million of them out on the market that’s a lot of people who aren’t going to see your site properly! Flash is also not good for your Google rankings, a lot of flash renders almost like an image, which of course means nothing to Google. This has been the case long before Apple decided not to include it on their devices. On top of all of this, visitors generally don’t like it either, it can be annoying and simply get in the way of most web users.
Another pitfall is poor navigation. This will effect both the visitors and your Google listing. When we say a site must be easy to use, this is generally what we’re referring too: that visitors must be able to find where they want to go as quickly as possible. Having a clear navigation hierarchy is a good idea, and making use of breadcrumb trails so visitors can see where they’ve come from and where they are within the structure of the site.
Focus on the content, keep things simple, use WordPress, employ a professional web agency and keep things up to date.
Editors Note: You may want to utilise the skills of a professional copy writer to ensure your web copy is customer-focused, key word rich, succinct and in line with your branding. We also recommend ensuring your site is compatible and linked to your Social Media profiles. Can your visitors click through easily to your Facebook page, your Twitter Feed, your LinkedIn account, your YouTube videos and your other profiles? Finally, adding a video to the front page of your website, testimonials videos and product promotion videos will add massive gravitas to your website and to your ability to attract more leads and sales. Best of luck with your website and online presence!
Steven Oddy is the owner of web design company, SO Technology www.sotechnology.co.uk