As a web guy I build, rebuild, review, fix, and repair many websites every year, and I have been doing this for the past 25+ years. Ironically enough, I neglect my own websites sometimes. That happens when I am focusing on my client’s sites. Speaking of neglect, I wanted to share four items I see missing most from websites.
In trying to decide if there was an order these should be tackled in, I decided to just mix it up as I go along in this article to keep it interesting.
You would think this one would be the most obvious, but you’d be surprised how many sites really miss the mark on this. A simplified definition of cohesiveness is the quality of things sticking together or the quality of being structured or organized in a unified way, or close connection between ideas and other elements.
When I review a website, I always look to see if there is a unified scheme. Can I identify a brand? Does the message of what the website owner is trying to convey stand out? This can be any component from the logo, tag line, mission statement, wording to font selection, color palette, or even images.
When creating a website, I create a color palette and save those colors in a document so that I have them handy to use through all of my web properties. If I use a font for a headline, I use a variation of that font for all headlines. The same is true for content/body fonts. Keep it consistent throughout. It’s best to use the same font on your website, order system, emails, etc. That cohesiveness helps it becomes part of your brand.
If you use rounded corners on your photos, make sure all of your photos then have rounded corners. Think about what other areas can be more uniform such as buttons. Are they the same color and shape throughout your website? One exception when it comes to buttons. You want to make sure your order button and opt-in but- tons stand out from action buttons.
2. Call to Action
Many times, I visit a website and am really interested in the product
or service, and I have to hunt down how to buy or even contact the person. Don’t make prospective clients work for it. Your call to action should be easy to find. I like to have a boxed area that is an obvious order area and link to that area from the other order links on the page or even website.
As for the contact area, there should be a designated contact page. Search engines actually prefer this. It is good to have on your business address and business phone number on this contact page. If you’re a local business targeting local clientele, I would suggest adding a google map.
Here are a couple more contact us tips from a web guy. If you are including your phone number on your website, be sure to link it to your phone number. So, if your phone number is 800-555-5555, your link would be tel:800-555-5555. If you are adding it via html code, you would use <a href=“800-555-5555”>800-555-5555</ a> —using this method gives mobile users the ability to just click the link to call right then and there.
The same is true with email links. To make them clickable so it opens up the person’s email client, you would add a mailto: link for the hyperlink. For example, if your email address was info@my- business.com your link would look like mailto:info@mybusiness. com and of course the html code would look similar as above <a href=“mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org>email@example.com</a>
If you’re using a website builder such as WordPress, you can use the simplified link rather than the HTML code.
3. Search Engine Optimization
By this time, we all should know the importance of keywords or buzz words for our market, but there are so many times I see this left out. While I’ve written specific articles for Traces Magazine on specifically SEO, I’ll add a few pointers here to help with this.
Keywords are words that potential website visitors would use in search engines to find your website. While we try to guess what these words might be there are places where you can do keyword research such as Google Ads Keyword Planner or Ubbersuggest, as well as several others.
It’s key to incorporate keywords into your website copy. By including these words into the text on your pages, it will increase search traffic to your site. You must do this wisely. Adding too many words in the same paragraph is known as keyword stuffing which will cause more harm than good.
You will want to be sure to add keywords in your headlines and sub headlines, as well. I often see the lack of headlines and subheadings on websites. These headings help break up large amounts of text as well as give the reader pointes of interest if they’re just browsing your website. Search engines such as Google will look for headlines and compare the text in that area for relevancy. Headlines help show the importance of the topic in that area of the page.
There are other strategies for using keywords such as in the names of your pages and also in the names of images. Depending on the website builder you might using, you can add alt text and image descriptions to your images that will increase keyword usage.
4. Analytics & Webmaster Tools
In working with clients, I find out that many times they have not connected their website to either Google Analytics, Google Search Console, or Bing Webmaster tools. Also, if they are trying to reach other countries, it would be worth looking into Baidu or others.
By connecting your website to these services, it helps get your site found quicker; not to mention that you can find out details about your website visitors and find out if there are issues with your web- site that need to be fixed.
These services will follow the site map on your website to spider all of the pages listed, getting them indexed into their search engines quicker than just hoping that one day prospects will find your website.
By utilizing these services, you can find out what pages are being visited, what keywords they’re using and even how they’re looking at your website so that you can discover if you have more mobile users over desktop users. You can also receive notifications if your website has an issue with being seen on mobile devices correctly. They look at things such as text size, space between links and so much more. These are invaluable tools that seem to get overlooked.
Just because you have a website on the internet, it does not mean anyone else knows about it.
While there are many other things people miss on a website, I hope these four I have mentioned will help to improve your web- site traffic and conversions. One small change can be the one that gets more money in your bank account.
Check out some of the other articles in past issues of Traces Magazine I have written some more in-depth articles about SEO, design, and web- site tips.