Category : Website Design

major website redesign update

The Key Elements to Consider During A Major Website Update

For many people, running a website is a pleasure – a source of joy that extends throughout your lifestyle. However, many people also find that, over time, they begin to lose that love for their website. Like a room in your home or the garden outside, the passing of time and the changing of culture means that it can begin to look a little flawed, empty – even dated. When you look at your website and can see the creeks and wrinkles beginning to form, a little bit of proverbial Botox might be just what it needs.

Knowing what to change, though, is just as hard as knowing when to carry out an update. With the rapid state of change in the digital world outpacing anything like fashion and furniture, changes can come about sooner than you had ever considered possible. To make sure that you aren’t sinking valuable time and capital into your website update, though, we recommend that you have a think about the following checklist.

Following this, you should find it a fair bit easier to make critical calls that will really improve the look, style and feel of your website.

Improving Performance

First and foremost, before any kind of facelift takes place, you want to know what is working well on the underside. What kind of facilities is your website using? You could likely modernise the back-end running of the site to improve the front-end at the same time.

First off, you should look to improve how well your website is running behind the scenes. Start off by taking a look at working with an analytics tool, such as Pingdom. Using this, you can get an idea of how fast your site is, how easy it loads, and how reasonable people are finding the overall user experience.

Once you do this, you know what needs to be changed and improved. From navigation being modernized to improving loading speeds of various pages, you can begin to make a telling difference to your website before a single pixel of the design is altered. To check your website speed you can always check: GTmetrix.

Going Responsive

Another key element of a good website stems from using a quality mobile-ready design. A website has to be capable of scaling down depending on the device it is being viewed on. If your website is hard to use on a smartphone or tablet, then change becomes an absolute necessity to make that possible.

Going responsive is a very important element of your business, and can utterly transform how you work, think and feel about management in general. Making sure that you are part of the ever-growing scale of mobile users is not an after-thought: at least, it shouldn’t be.

carousel responsive design

Laying the Trap

How good is your website at getting the details of those who come to visit? Do you have a mailing list? A subscription platform? Even just a ‘keep me updated’ section that helps people to sign up and get e-mail alerts? If not, why not?

This is vital in a modern business. Invest some crucial time and effort into ‘laying the trap’ of lead generation and you’ll find that you need less unique hits to make an impact. From making sure it all runs concurrent with active and fun social media accounts to building a mailing list that offers help, advice and offers, you can find many ways to help keep people engaged after their visit.

Take the time to work out how important your website is to the overall business performance, and how much it could play if it was running at optimum capacity. From finding mini-niches that you could explore further with your site to making sure people can feel comfortable about the speed and layout of the site, you have a lot of planning to put in place.

Correcting the Design

mobile design developmentMore importantly, though, is the design. The back-end and the user features are wonderful for keeping people interested and engaged, without doubt. However, correcting the design is just as important. A site could run like a dream, and have everything someone needs. If it looks awful, amateurish and out-of-date, though, it’s likely people will never get to see what lies beneath the surfaces.

For that reason, correcting the design is more than just a recommendation. While copying your competitors is a fruitless exercise, you should always look to work with a web developer who can modernize your business look.

From the color scheme to the layout and the fonts used, you have a lot of items to look at. Are you being too stereotypical in parts of the imagery? Are you someone who has built up a platform that feels outdated and over-the-top?

These are common problems, and can make your business less attractive to those who were potentially interested.

Do you have much media being used, either? What kind of content is on there? This plays into the design as much as anything else. Does the content make good use of headers, for design purposes as much as helping search engines do their hunting?

Does your website need a new look? Then hiring a professional to help you modernize it is very important. Hiring a web developer with an eye for imagery and artistic quality can be the difference between a good website, and a website that is inundated with customers!

Catching The Eye

Lastly, you should be paying attention to the overall kind of content being used. Is it word-heavy, or image-heavy? A fine mix is always the best aim for any business. You should always be ready to do some extra work and plan out accordingly. If you don’t have a blog, then making one and updating it once per week with SEO-friendly content is a must (See On-Page SEO Part 1 and How to structure your Website SEO).

The aim here is to update your website to make it more informative, more enjoyable to use, a bunch more simplistic and making it more appealing to the layman.

If you need help doing so, then contacting a professional web developer to help you begin the process is a must. Never accept second best: when treated with the right level of respect, a website can be your business card, your sales front, your blog and your advertisement all in one!

If you are looking for a website redesigned or update you should get in contact with us!

Website Optimization Tools And Services

Website Optimization Tools And Services

Trying to get more visitors to your site is not something you should do without having as many website optimization tools and services as possible. After all, there are so many useful and easy to use tools out there on the net, it’s a shame not to take advantage of them. With many of these tools being free or inexpensive, being able to optimize your website will be easier than ever before. Here are some great online tools and services that will make your optimization efforts more effective than ever.

Sitemaps

Ever wonder how crawlers come across your site? Sitemaps are what give out the hints to big search engines about what’s out there. Using sitemaps can help search engines pick up on your site more rapidly, and also can help properly categorize it. You can make your own sitemaps, or have someone else do it for you.

Robot Instructions

Things such as Robots.txt and other similar instructionals tell crawlers which pages they should categorize, which they should skip over, as well as other instructions. Many guides exist online that explain how to use these to their full potential. Similarly, using the code “rel=noFollow” also will allow you to remove the advantages your competition has when you link out to their site.

Google Webmaster ToolsGoogle Webmaster Tools

Perhaps the most effective bunch of tools a webmaster could ever find, this series of tools has multiple categories that make it a web optimization powerhouse.

  • Settings – This allows you to set the very basic nuts and bolts of web optimization as well as the preferred URLs that you want crawlers to hit.
  • Diagnostics – Did you ever have one of those days where everything you seem to do goes awry? Well, it happens with website optimization, too. When you run the diagnostic tools that Google gives you, you can actually see whether or not you’ve been hit with malware, whether crawlers have been having a lot of errors, and even whether or not you are doing everything possible with your HTML coding to improve your optimization efforts.
  • Website Responsiveness – See if you have a mobile friendly website or not, and what might be the problems with your mobile version of your site.
  • Your Site On The Web – This webmaster tool genre is amazing when it comes to giving you real insight on where you stand on the net, and what your search engine optimization efforts are doing to your site’s ranking. You also get to see your click-through rates, as well as the top pages that are delivered in search engine results.
  • +1 Metrics – Social media is king with a lot of search engine optimization efforts, especially when it comes to Google’s +1 function. This allows you to track your progress in Google Plus, and also check out who is promoting posts related to your site.
  • Site Configuration – Want to submit your sitemaps, test out your own robots.txt files, or fix up all the addresses that can get changed when you move domains? This is the category of Google Webmaster tools to go to. People who are big fans of this tool set say that it makes managing the technical aspects of website optimization a lot easier – especially for those who really dislike dealing with too much coding.

To get to google webmaster took you can go to this website: https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/. To set up an account with them you will have to create an email account and insert a meta tag code on your website. You can also upload an html file. After you have set up your google webmaster tool please don’t forget to go and submit your website sitemap, in the sitemap section. This will tell google exactly what pages you want to index and when you will make an update will tell google that you have added more content to your website that will need to be crawled.

The Bing Webmaster CenterBing Webmaster Tools

Not to be outdone by Google, Microsoft’s Bing search engine came up with their own slew of webmaster tools available to those who want to improve their results with Bing. Before you ask, yes, you can sign up for both Google and Bing webmaster services.

  • Traffic – This Bing tool monitors your site traffic, and also combines the results you’re getting from both Bing and Yahoo. Unlike Google, this tool also can give you a cost estimate of how much you’d end up paying for advertising based on the keywords you choose.
  • Index – This is the Bing answer to Google’s Site Configuration. Here, webmasters choose how Bing indexes their site, and fix mistakes that crawlers may have made.
  • Overview and Crawl Stats – Both of these tools give you a basic idea of how well your SEO efforts have been doing, and also tell you how frequently crawlers are hitting your site. This monitors stuff like clicks, impressions, and how many crawler errors have occurred in the recent months. This allows you to help Bing prioritize your site, and also control what kind of impression your site gives on the net.

To create a Bing Webmaster account you can go to this url: www.bing.com/toolbox/webmaster The same thing like google webmaster tool you need to set up your account with an email address and then to the website verification. Also don’t forget to submit the .xml sitemap file.

Google Analytics Detail ReportingGoogle Analytics

Google Analytics is another important tool that will help you in finding out what you type of traffic is coming to your website and how many visitors you are getting each day.

Here are some of the features that you can see within the tool:

  • Detail Reporting – you will be able to see how many visitors you had to your website, the region are they coming from, number of sessions, unique visitors, average time on site, bounce rate, language that they are speaking, browser, what pages they have visited, etc
  • Real Time – This is a feature that will show you what exactly who is visiting your website in real time.
  • Acquisition – get detail report from where the visitors are coming from. You can see who came to your website from your: paid traffic, organic, social media, referral or any other custom campaign.

To install Google Analytics you will have to add an script on each page that you want to track. Most of the time if you want to track all of the pages of the website you will need to add the custom code withing the header or footer section of the website. To get access to the Google Analytics visit this link: www.google.com/analytics

The coolest thing about being able to use SEO tools and services is that it has a much, much more powerful impact on your overall results than simply blogging and using social media alone. So, if you feel like you’re being stuck in a rut by your optimization efforts, it may be time to look into more tools that are being offered for webmasters who really, truly care about their traffic and their websites. They’re easy enough for anyone to use!