I Need A Website
I Need a Website That Ranks Well in the Search Engines – 9 Critical Steps
One of the best times to think about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is when you say “I need a Website”. SEO and web design go hand in hand. The way you name your page titles,files and images is critical. The way you name your menu items & hyperlinks are factors in helping the search engines find your website. This is your chance to start fresh. Here are some tips to get you going.
Critical Factors in Building a Website
- Goals and Objectives
If you have a clear set of goals and objectives, it will make the web design and implementation so much easier. Are you selling a product? Are you offering information? Do you have a restaurant? Are you trying to make money or not? You really need to sit down and define a clear set of goals and expectations of your website. Find other websites on the web in the industry you are perusing and see what your future competitors are doing.
- Statement of Work and Cost From The Web Developer
If you would like to be on the receiving end of a runaway web development project, the best way is to start is without a written plan. New websites can run from $800.00 to thousands. You need to have a handle on the work to be performed and the cost of the work. This information should be signed and agreed upon by both you and the developer. If the developer cannot produce a statement of work and cost for the project, I would look elsewhere. Even projects that are done by family and friends can go wrong real fast. Like the age old expression says, “Get it in Writing” Just say to your developer, “I need a website plan and all the costs laid out before going forward.
- First Impression of a website
First impressions are everything. Even when we meet people. Unfortunately, humans are wired to make quick and spontaneous deductions about what we see. Websites are no different. If the design of the website is quirky and tough for visitors to navigate, they will soon leave. Make sure your menus items are clear and concise and that your look and feel
matches the industry you are in.
- Web Content
All the search engines really want to do is return good, relevant information for users who search. It’s not too much to ask is it? Well, if you aren’t a writer or you have poor writing skills, this could be a problem. Luckily you do have some options. You can hire somebody to write your website copy or track down a family member who has an English degree. In this case, it is better that you don’t put up content that you don’t feel is excellent. Your website deserves the best and getting back to point #2, you need a website that has a good first impression.
- Website Navigational Structure
We have seen plenty of websites that have over 100 links on the home page! It takes a good 30 seconds to scan the home page to see what is going on. Links at the top, links on the side, links at the bottom, links popping up everywhere. Haphazard website navigation can turn a website into spaghetti. Spend the time to pencil out your main categories and then sub categories. Put it down on paper and look at it and see if it makes sense.
- You Need A Website That Doesn’t Take Too Long to Load
When building your website, make sure you are reducing the image sizes as much as you can without noticeable quality loss. Be careful with flash elements as they can really slow your website down. I’m sure you may have been on a website that says loading… loading.. loading. Well, after a few of those, I’m gone and off to a new website.Smush.It. is a free online service to reduce size of images. You can batch upload images that you want to compress, or, you can provide URL of images to Smush.It. You can provide URL of multiple images together. It will then do a lossless size reduction for them. You can try Smush.It here.
- Web page Layout and Elements
Lots of different fonts, colors, sizes of fonts and crazy indentation can really make a website look unpleasant. Try to keep a well organized site that is pleasing to the eyes. If you are going to be using a design platform like Joomla or WordPress, there are many templates available that can help get you on your way to an organized website.
- Cross Browser Compatibility
At Data Complete Inc, we perform custom programming applications and one of the toughest parts of this is making our software work in all the different browsers. We generally program for Google Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer Safari, Mobile Devices and more. What complicates things even more is programming all the previous release versions of these browsers. Your website is no different. You need a website that is compatible in all browsers before launching.
- Respect Users Privacy