Month: April 2016
A strong online presence is a must for any businesses, irrespective of their size. Customers of today wish to evaluate the business and each and every product or service that is available; it is your responsibility to make sure you cater to every whim and wish of your customers in the easiest possible manner.
Almost every business has a website today; but not all of them have the kind of visibility or traffic they wish to achieve. It all depends on how you design your website and optimize it so as to generate leads on an everyday basis. Here are a few must-have features you should be sure to include on your business website:
- Easy Domain name: Make sure your domain name is simple and easy to remember, while representing your business in the best way possible. It is also the number one keyword so, beside to select one that works for your industry.
- Logo: Logo is often the face of your business. Simple is always better. Be sure it’s readable from a distance and with different color backgrounds.
- Tag-Line: Many businesses often miss out on taglines. However, it is very important to add a tagline just below your logo which represents what your business does, in a very catchy manner.
- Phone number: Without a phone number your business may not look genuine enough to your customers. Although the option of email is available it is always better to mention your phone number clearly on your website. Full contact info gives a sense of authenticity.
- Call-to-action: This is the one that your customers will click to take the action you desire. This could be registering for an account, submitting their email address or buying your product or service. It needs to be clearly visible and recognizable enough for your visitors. Also make sure there aren’t too many of these. Each page should likely have only one call-to-action button, two if the page has large amounts of content.
- Main Menu Navigation: Every website needs to have a main menu that is easy and clear to read and understand. The easier you make this, the simpler it will be for your user to navigate. This is one feature that not only enhances the user experience but can also improve the ranking of your website on Google. Be sure to check it on many browsers and devices.
- Bread-crumb navigation: Bread-crumb navigation should be just below your top navigation menu it can help the user in getting to know his location on your website and is also great for SEO.
Above the Fold Content:
- Slider or image: Having a slider or an image that highlights the most distinguishing part of your business is key to first impressions. This could be the main headline of your business. It’s the first thing a visitor will see, make it count.
- Contact business information: This part will contain the most important piece of information about your business that you want to give to your customers. This is how your customers will find your place of business.
- Testimonials & Reviews: Video testimonials or reviews may make it more interesting for your visitors and this can also help in increasing conversions
- Main Features: This section would contain your products / services that you actually want to sell
- Quality Content: This is the content that you will write for your users and the search engines. This will contain the unique points of your business and how it will benefit the users
- Internal Links: This section should contain important links to the inner pages of your website
- Contact Information: This section will contain the address, telephone number and email ID of your business for your customers to contact you
- Business Hours: The exact working hours of your store should be mentioned here. In case people would wish to contact customer support, it is important to mention the timings during which your support team will be available
- Social Media Buttons: These are the buttons that will take your customers to your social media pages as in your Facebook page, YouTube Page, Google Plus Page and/or your Twitter Page.
- Online Chat Features: In case you have an online chat feature enabled, you can mention the link here for customers to join you on online chat. This will help them clear their queries immediately and expedite your conversions.
- Newsletter Sign-up form: This is where your visitors or customers will enter their email ID to subscribe
- Footer Navigation: This will have all the links to the different pages of your website so that your customers can get to important areas of your site without the need of scrolling back to the top of the site.
- Contact Us Page: This is one of your most important inner pages through which you can generate leads to your business. Also, this is the medium you offer for the customers to engage with you. It should ideally include a contact form and a captcha, which is an anti-spam feature
- Personalized about us page: This will talk about your business, when it started, who started, what you do, your mission, your vision and your objectives.
- FAQ Page: This page will have answers to a few common questions that will haunt the minds of your customers about your business. This will instantly clear most of the queries and improve your conversions
- Blog Page: Every business should have a blog that gives information to the customers and to interact with its customers. This should ideally have a search feature, comment features, social media sharing buttons and a side bar that will show your popular blogs. One of the most important pages on a site for SEO.
The various other things you need to focus on are to include clear readable fonts and easily recognizable links and to make sure your website is mobile responsive. Do not include flash items or background audio on your website as this can decrease the speed of your website. It is better not to include self hosted videos and instead use YouTube links or the power of Vimeo. In order to make sure your website is search engine optimized make sure your website is cross-browser compatible and well-integrated with Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools.
An in-depth analysis of the HTTPS settings of about 10,000 domains has revealed the following statistics:
- Only one out of every ten websites seems to have a HTTPS setup that is correct
- 60% of websites across the world do not have any HTTPS
- At least one in every four domains is missing out on a canonical HTTPS version
- 25% of the domains are making use of the 302 (temporary) redirects in place of the 301 (permanent) redirects
Now, let us go on to find out why HTTPS matters:
One good answer for this question is because Google says so. Among 200 odd factors, HTTPS is one of the ranking signals that Google considers while ranking websites. However, this is not the only ranking signal. In case your website is aligned with all the other ranking signals, HTTPS can probably take you one notch higher. Nevertheless, the trick lies in getting it right, which even the big websites sometimes fail to do. If you do not have the right HTTPS setup, very soon Google’s Chrome browser may display a lock with a red X in the address bar whenever a user visits your webpage. Very soon the other browsers will follow this policy.
The main reason most website owners choose not to setup HTTPS is the cost. This requires a lot of encrypting which might cost you in terms of costs, additional hardware, SSL certificates, engineering hours, CPU cycles and bandwidth. Yet, if you need the benefits that HTTPS can bring to you, you will have to bear these costs.
Benefits of HTTPS over HTTP:
In case you have not yet decided to switch over from HTTP to HTTPS the following benefits that HTTPS has over HTTP can help you make up your mind:
- Better protection and Website Security: HTTPS makes use of SSL or Secure Sockets Layer that protects your website from hackers. Once they see HTTPS, your users will be assured that their personal data is secure on your website. Especially if yours is an ecommerce website, this can help in increasing your online sales in a remarkable way.
- Secure DNS Infrastructure: The DNS Infrastructure offered by a HTTPS website is a much more secure when compared to that of HTTP. There is more encryption in HTTPS which offers confidentiality, identity and integrity. Without your knowledge nobody will be able to alter the information that exists on your website.
- Top security for browsers: When compared to HTTP, HTTPS offers better security to browsers. The logins and passwords they use will have a better chance on not being hacked by anyone. The data that they enter will be secure and no one will be able to monitor or track down their searches.
So, what do you have to keep in mind in order to get the HTTPS settings right?
- Only use one URL-serving the content: There should be only one canonical version of your web content. This will help your users get redirected to the correct website. For instance, the user may typehttps://www.reddit.com, http://www.reddit.com, http://reddit.com and be directed to the same website https://www.reddit.com.
- Always make use of permanent redirects: The use of temporary redirects is not advisable, although many of the websites stick to this practice. Using permanent redirects will help you pass along the link juice in a reliable manner. This will help in maximizing your SEO.
- Make sure all the redirects display the right content: Too many redirects would mean slow loading speed of your website which might increase your bounce rates. Using redirect loops is not good for your website. While reducing the prospects of conversions, this will also affect your SEO negatively.
A few years ago, getting an SSL certificate was a very costly affair. Not so today. It just takes a few dollars to get that SSL certificate and make your website secure using HTTPS. No more excuses. Make the change to HTTPS. Google is already pushing websites to adopt HTTPS and it will keep providing more and more incentives in future. Now, it all depends on how fast you adopt to HTTPS.
In an ideal situation, your domain name should explain exactly what your business does. This is an essential part of how your domain will be ranked by a search engine. In fact, most search engines consider your domain name as the highest ranking element of your website.
Consider the acronym CSA. What is CSA? You would never know by only reading the acronym. It happens to be a consumer review website, where you can post reviews about good and bad customer service for U.S. businesses. People are not going to search for a business or terms they have never heard of, such as CSA. It’s best to have the most relevant keywords in the domain name, or search terms, that a prospective customer might enter into the search field of a web browser.
Now look at the domain http://www.CustomerServiceArmy.com. This is a domain name with relevant key words, which explain the focus of the business. It’s also what the acronym CSA stands for. A simple choice like a domain name becomes essential to the planning stages of any new online venture. If you want to be at the top of the search results on the biggest search engines, spend the time up front so people can find you!
Here’s another example of how search terms can help your website’s ranking. Let’s say that you live in Pasadena, CA, and you’re looking for a Flash designer. Try searching for the term “Pasadena Flash Design” on Google. PX Media appears on the first page of your search results. Now think about the domain name. You are probably thinking that http://www.pxmediainc.com doesn’t have the word “Flash” in it, yet it appears in the top search results but, you will see listings of other companies with the word “Flash” as part of their domain names. “Why”. This is a unique situation where PX Media has worked for years to get its website to rank on the first page, using may essential components of Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
The 2nd most important is your page naming or URL structure.
Anything that is listed after the domain name extension (e.g. .com, or .net) is the path that your customer will follow to a particular page on your website. For example, look at the following web link: http://www.pxmediainc.com/flash_services_intros_presentations_seo/. This is another factor that will be considered in the overall website rank. Google will index the full URL of each page, which includes the domain name and the full page name. This is one reason that PX Media ranks as high as it does, because of its high individual page rankings. We user keywords throughout the page name and URL. This is a SEO trick we were using before most people knew what SEO was.
Search engines like Google use sophisticated robots or spiders to index each page of your website. You should aim to make each page of your website as important as the home page. For example, when someone searches for a particular keyword, Google will give them the most relevant and up-to-date individual web pages with those results. This could be any page of your website, where some might be weaker than others. This page may be the only thing that a prospective customer sees for your business. If it doesn’t grab their attention and evoke a call to action (calling you, or going to another page on your website), they may move on to a competitor’s website and never see your home page. Make each and every page relevant and most important. Give the user something to do. Never forget to have a CALL TO ACTION on every page.
SEO has greatly evolved over the past five years and continues to change as each search engine changes their website ranking guidelines. Besides your domain name, another way to improve your website rank is to use two or more domain names. However, Google, or the largest search engine, only ranks the main domain name. You can use one domain name for ranking purposes, while another domain can be used for marketing purposes. For example, you can redirect a second domain name to the main domain to help boost your total website traffic. or use a simplified domain so that your clients don’t need to spell out your full SEO domain.
PX Media prides itself on its SEO knowledge and takes a pro-active stance on following the latest SEO trends and methodologies. Give us a call today and learn how PX Media can help your business get to the top of the search results!