Search Engine Optimization

How To Keep Your Website Fresh

Tips on Keeping Your Website Fresh!

The most engaging websites are those that draw in repeat visitors and retain them for an active and exploratory session.

Here are several easy-to-implement ideas to keep your website fresh and engaging.

Blog Posts

If you have a blog, be sure to maintain it with regular posts. These could be monthly, weekly, or daily depending on your goals and schedule availability. (Read this interesting article to see the surprising results one blogger experienced statistically and emotionally when he increased from weekly to daily blogging.)

If you haven’t yet started a blog, come up with a calendar for the next 3-6 months before publishing. This will help you avoid getting writer’s block and keep you motivated.

Here are a few ideas for simple blog posts that can add value content on a weekly basis:

  • Round-up of themed ideas/products relating to your industry. (Example: “15 Best Electronic Assembly Tools for 2015”)
  • Commentary on latest industry news bit. Provide basic advice with forecasts and your expert opinion.
  • Directions or video for unusual ways to use your product. Survey social media fans to get ideas.

Photos From Events

Did you recently host or attend an industry related event? Share photos! These photos may show the personality of your staff or retain a strict business appearance — you decide the tone of your business style. If you attend a conference, be sure to find out if photos are allowed before snapping away.

Create a basic photo album, but be sure to add descriptive headlines and notes to present an overall storyline. Share it on your social network with a link back to your site.

Slider Pics On Home Page

Most WordPress themes allow you to place a slider on your homepage. If it doesn’t, you can add a plugin like the Soliloquy slider plug-in, so you can add sliding images to your home page highlighting various new features, articles, products/services, and press releases. If you publish a new blog post, you should put up a new slider pic replacing the old blog post reference. Keep about 3-5 slider pics rotating. More than that will usually be less effective. Readers may need to see the same image rotate through twice for it to catch their attention.

Hire a designer or web developer to create a template to allow you to easily change out the text and photos on slider pics. This way you can always add new slider images as frequently as you may have need. One example of a sliding image feature can be seen on the LuckyFish Media home page.

Stay Inspired

One of the best things you can do to keep a creative outlook for your website is to visit others. Artists regularly use a similar practice to stay inspired, visiting galleries and museums to see refreshing imagery similar to or very unlike their own.

Take a few minutes each week to visit your competitor’s sites and your favorite industry sites. What new features do you see? In what ways have the graphics or images changed? What are they blogging about? Keep a notebook, tablet, or smartphone handy to jot a few notes. Put into practice your favorite ideas or present them to your web developer for consideration.

The Dos and Don’ts of Updating

Regularly review your site every 3-6 months to consider changes. This helps your website maintain more relevance with readers and with search engines algorithms. When updating your site, be sure to avoid certain website mistakes including outdated content, lack of calls to action, and/or inappropriate font text and size.

Need help keeping your WordPress site current with latest malware protection and plug-ins? Let LuckyFish Media handle your WordPress site updates!

3 Website Mistakes to Avoid

We’ve all come across ancient websites and nearly laughed aloud at the old style of graphics, simplicity of design, and often boring content. With ever-changing expectations for website design, how do you know if you site is making mistakes like these?

Take a look at these key website mistakes to avoid to be sure your website is ready for modern audiences.

1. Out-of-Date Content

Providing website visitors with out-of-date content is one of the worst pitfalls for marketing your company image and value.

For example, if a user clicks your “News” tab and finds that the latest piece of news is from 2013, he or she is going to believe your entire website may not have been updated for years. This calls into question everything about your business  — standards, product usefulness, dedication to the industry, and plain and simple professionalism.

Many websites avoid dating content at all. Others regularly date items such as blog posts, news releases, and more. The important key is to regularly review and edit your site. If you choose to share news articles featuring your company or product, do so regularly. If you don’t have anything fresh to share, maybe it’s best to remove that portion of the site.

2. Lacking Calls to Action

Do you know what feature distinguished Facebook from other social media sites in the early race to domination? It was the “Like” button. Before Facebook introduced the “Like” button in 2009, users had to textually comment to show interaction with a post. The “Like” button is a simple call to action, but gets highly responsive results. One study of the “Like” button suggests that the history of “Liking” goes much deeper than the history of Facebook. This goes to show that a well researched call to action is worth investigating.

Informing website visitors what to do next or providing an interactive way to communicate preferences greatly lowers bounce rates and improves conversions. These next-step suggestions are called “Calls to Action”. Calls to action may be an anchored text link, an image button link with text, or a sentence including a quick link. Examples of each style:

Take a look at each page of your website, are you lacking calls to action? If so, this is one crucial component of your website you’ve got to improve immediately!

Which call to action style should you choose? Actually, the best way to answer this question is through testing. Set-up an A/B split test to present two different calls to actions to your site visitors in equal shares. Monitor which call to action style gets retains more visitors and/or leads to conversions. This will provide the best insight to which strategy, wording, colors, etc. are best for your particular business needs.

3. Inappropriate Font Size and Type

Font size and type play an important role in the emotions a website evokes on its readers. And now is the time to consider making font changes since recent browser support changes have made more font options a reality.

In a study about fonts by Microsoft and MIT researchers, many important findings about font size and type were discovered. More aesthetically pleasing fonts result in a happier mood and greater reading engagement. Secondarily, the happier mood encourages better cognitive abilities post-reading. Essentially, what this means is that it’s important to consider the font on your website if you want to influence your visitors in a particular way.

Different fonts may also evoke certain cultural emotions. For example, Helvetica font is what is used by the US government on tax forms. This association may produce unwanted side effects in mood. On the other hand, scripted fonts produce more romantic feelings, but are not easy to read for large bodies of text. In general, San-serif fonts like Arial and Calibri appear more informal than Serif fonts such as Times New Roman. A knowledgeable website designer should be able to help you consider which font is best for your purposes and audience.

Font size is just as vital as the type. Too small a font may be difficult for many readers and come across as intentionally misleading (as in the case of the “fine print” on giveaways.) For years it has been noted that font size 12pt and above is ideal, however many contemporary websites are moving towards fonts 20pt and larger. One recent study on font size suggests that these large fonts produce positive emotional responses. Again, these positive emotional responses are crucial to the actions of your website visitors.

Did you find this article about website design informative and useful? Share it on Facebook!

A Quick Guide To Small Business Website Analytics

Are you monitoring your business website’s analytics?

Analytics reveal telling information such as numbers of visitors and length of visits, the most common entry and exit pages, and the typical flow of visitors from page to page.

The usefulness of analyzing this data is one of a business owner’s best offense moves for maintaining online relevance to customers.

Here’s a quick beginner’s guide to small business website analytics.

Where to Start

There are a variety of paid and free website analytic services. Beginners often find Google Analytics somewhat overwhelming, but if you choose this service, it surely can be learned. I always install Google Analytics for any client website I work with. The data you can gather from your website visitors is very valuable.

Clicky Stats offers simplified analytics which are great for new website owners, but may be too simple for highly detailed analysis. For users already familiar with Mint’s financial analytics, their website analytics will feel very natural.

Many businesses also maintain a Facebook page. Did you know Facebook offers its own internal analytics? Discover which are your best posts, locations of followers, and more.

Crazy Egg-example

Crazy Egg example of a website homepage

Some hosting companies also offer their own version of analytic software for website owners. If you don’t want to sign up for one of the above, start with the free option your host provides. This allows you to become familiar with the terms before committing to a service.

Look at your data in a visual way with Crazy Egg. Through Crazy Egg’s heat map and scroll map reports you can get an understanding of how your visitors engage with your website. Then you can make changes to improve your visitors experience.

What to Look For

Once you’ve decided on an analytics provider, it’s time to review the data. Of course, the most obvious piece of interest is the number of visitors. Be sure to compare unique visitors versus returning — this gives a clue as to how many customers and leads find your site useful, entertaining, or shop-worthy. Visitors who stay longer and visit multiple pages are the best kind of visitors.

Another key element in website analytics are the entry and exit pages.

  • Which pages on your site do visitors come to first?
  • Which entry page yields the longest visits?
  • And which pages cause the most drop off rates?
  • This provides insightful information about which pages to promote, improve, or delete.

There are many other statistics and data to be considered, but these two starting points will be most beneficial at the beginning.

Record Keeping

Most of the popular website analytic tools allow users to download daily, weekly, or monthly reports. Be sure to do this and review periodically. In the future you may change analytic services. Keeping records of your website’s past analytics allows you to remain in control of the information if you do switch providers.

Are you new to online marketing and website ownership? For a limited time you can grab a free eBook copy of my book, Today’s Marketing Cookbook,” to learn more tips to grow your business.

5 Reasons Your small business needs a website

As I write this post I have a slight toothache. I decided to change dentist a few months back and I keep finding other things to do instead of searching out a new dentist. Now that the pain is creeping in I have to find a new dentist. The way people find a new dentist, doctor, eye doctor or any business for that matter has changed over the past 15 years.

As a thirty something I will begin my search on the web.  I will not pull the Yellow Book out of the junk drawer in the house. (Everyone has a junk drawer and at the bottom, anchoring the drawer is an old Yellow Pages.) I will not drive around looking for a dentist. I will not go to the yellow book website and search on their site. What I will do is type in my browser (Chrome)  “dentist + my location” and start the search.

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Google’s changing the way it ranks your site

This is a great article and video about how Google is changing the way it ranks websites now. By using a new algorithm, called the Panda updates, Google is changing the way it will view your website. I highly recommend checking this article out.

Here is a brief paragraph from the article:

“Panda, also known as Farmer, was this update that Google came out with in March of this year, of 2011, that rejiggered a bunch of search results and pushed a lot of websites down in the rankings, pushed some websites up in the rankings, and people have been concerned about it ever since. It has actually had several updates and new versions of that implementation and algorithm come out. A lot of people have all these questions like, “Ah, what’s going on around Panda?” There have been some great blog posts on SEOmoz talking about some of the technical aspects. But I want to discuss in this Whiteboard Friday some of the philosophical and theoretical aspects and how Google Panda really changes the way a lot of us need to approach SEO.”

http://www.seomoz.org/blog/how-googles-panda-update-changed-seo-best-practices-forever-whiteboard-friday

10 Do’s and Don’ts to Avoid SEO Mistakes

10 Do’s and Don’ts to Avoid SEO Mistakes

SEOWith so much misinformation out there, along with a lack of knowledge about how SEO works, you could end up getting your website banned from the search engines. Learn how to avoid common mistakes with these 10 simple do’s and don’ts. Read more

What Is Web Usability and Why Do I Need To Know About It

What Is Web Usability and Why Do I Need To Know About It

Source: http://www.articlealley.com/article_1428570_4.html
Web usability covers a broad range of areas but generally it focuses on ensuring you keep visitors on your website and help them achieve their goals. In many cases you can make improvements to your site by adding or altering content, and in other cases a web designer may be needed to make technical changes.
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