Web Design and Development
There are always ways to improve a website. Below, we’ve included a list of 25 ways that you might be able to improve yours.
1. Color scheme. Evaluate your color scheme to determine whether it adds or detracts from your site. The best websites generally stick to 4-6 colors.
2. Simplify page navigation. If it is difficult for users to move around your website and find information, they are likely to leave. Make sure that your site’s navigation is simple, intuitive, consistent, and in an obvious location. See our article on Improving the Visitor Experience.
3. Verify cross browser compatibility. Your website should look the same in all modern browsers. This will ensure that all visitors can view and use the website as you intend. Want to know if your website is cross-browser compatible?
4. Make sure all text is readable. We generally opt for a minimum 12px font size. In addition, make sure that their is adequate contrast between the text and background colors.
5. Design for all monitors. While the average monitor size and resolution are increasing, there are still many people who use small monitors, or are on laptops. If you do want to design for a larger monitor, consider creating multiple versions of your website.
6. Optimize for faster load time. Slow loading pages are a big problem. Not only do they discourage visitors, but they might also prevent search engines from indexing your website. Click here to determine if your website is slow.
7. Gather website statistics. Consider adding tracking code to your website. This will enable you to see how your visitors are finding you, whether they are satisfied, and if they return. Want to know what else your website statistics can tell you?
8. Add a contact form. Believe it or not, adding a contact form to your website will increase the amount of responses or comments that you receive. And if your website generates leads, a contact form (or lead generation form) will greatly improve the effectiveness of your website. Need help with your contact form? Read our contact form tutorial and download free code.
9. Make your urls search engine friendly. One quick way to improve your links is by stuffing them with keywords. Be sure to separate keywords with dashes, as opposed to underscores. Additionally, dynamic websites should remove any question marks (?), ampersands (&), and equal signs (=).
10. Create unique titles and meta descriptions for each page. Appropriate titles and meta descriptions are not only good for SEO, but they also improve click-through rates and can improve the quality and quantity of your organic traffic.
11. Use heading tags. HTML has a built in way of allowing you to tell search engines what your website is really about. These are heading tags (h1,h2,h3,h4,h5,h6). These tags are used best when they contain keywords.
12. Get rid of frames. Frames make it almost impossible for websites to be optimized for search engines. To learn why you should remove frames from your website, read our article Why You Shouldn’t Use Frames In Your Website.
13. Add a sitemap. If your website is large, a sitemap will help users to easily find the information that they are looking for.
14. Add a Google sitemap. The larger your website, the easier it is for pages to get buried. A Google sitemap will enable Google to know about and crawl all pages in your website. Need help building your sitemap, click here for more information.
15. Seek out inbound link opportunities. By getting more inbound links, you will be able to increase your Google pagerank and generate more traffic.
16. Make you site sticky. "Stickiness" is a measure of how well your site attracts and keeps visitors. To make your site sticky, you can add a poll, a contest, or a forum.
17. Update content regularly. Keeping your website fresh will help increase traffic to your website, and give visitors a reason to return. Click here for content sources.
18. Proofread for grammatical or spelling errors. A little goes a long way. Correcting these errors can help increase the trustworthiness of your website.
19. Create error pages. See our error page tutorial.
20. Validate your website according to web standards. While this might have very little significance to you, standards are important. By adhering to these coding principles, you ensure that your website can be accessed by most of your visitors, and across many types of devices, such as computers, smart phones, PDA’s, and more.
21. Add a copyright notice. These is an implied copyright for all websites, however, it is still a good practice to include one in the footer of your website.
22. Add a favorites icon. Don’t know what it is? Read more about it here.
23. Include contact information. Displaying your contact information will add credibility to your website. Be sure that it is in an easily accessible location.
24. Remove or fix any dead or broken links. There is nothing more frustrating than clicking on a link, only to find that it leads to a page that doesn’t exist. Make sure that your visitors never have to experience this.
25. Monetize your website with ads, but don’t overdo it. Have a healthy balance between advertisements and content.
Good luck. And let us know if you have any suggestions for our list.Tags: blogs, color scheme, content, cross-browser compatibility, error pages, favicon, frames, leads, links, load time, navigation, organic search, traffic generation, urls, visitor loyalty, website contests, website statistics