happy new year

Website Tips for 2016

The New Year is Almost Here!

While considering a new year’s resolution don’t forget about your website. Maybe it could use an update and fresh new look. Check out some of these website tips for 2016.

As a first step, be sure and review your statistics and analytics to figure out who is visiting your website and how they behave once they arrive. Especially valuable for this analysis are “heat maps”, now available for free in Google Analytics. Heat maps show where people are drawn to on any given web page. We frequently review our clients’ heat maps to make sure customers are able to easily find what they are looking for.

Fresh, Up to Date, Modern Websites

website tipsThe newest design trends: Transparent Layers

  • Be careful with this as it doesn’t always render usefully on small mobile devices

Remember, looks are not everything

  • Just because a website looks great doesn’t mean it works great.

Looks are very important though

  • Just because a website is useful, doesn’t mean that it is attracting new customers. There needs to be a balance between look and usefulness.

website tipsEasy Navigation is Key

Clean up your navigation

  • Users should be able to spot what they’re looking for in 5 seconds or less.  Website visitors don’t want to dig for information, they’ll just leave your website.

Create a search box

  • If your website does not have a search box, install one today. Even if you don’t think you need it. You need a search box in the same spot on every page. Also, the enter key needs to submit the search. Tip: Help out your search tool and use synonyms in your meta tag lists

Use breadcrumbs

  • Users don’t want to get lost navigating your website. Breadcrumbs help them get back to where they’ve been.

Website Usability

Have you checked your website on your phone? What about a friend or co-worker’s phone, especially if they use a different platform? Your site may need some CSS love to stop items from going off the edge on certain phones and tablets.

Clean up the annoying trends from years before, such as autoplaying audio and popups. Also, cut back on the number of fields in your contact form. You can always get more information from contacts using their email or phone number, but if they get half way through a contact form and never hit submit you’ll never make that initial contact.

website tipsImprove Your SEO

Don’t have a blog on your website? This is the year to get started. This is great for SEO and good for demonstrating expertise in your industry.

Set a plan to make at least 2 posts a month. Ideally, you should be posting up to two posts a week within 6 months. Short on ideas? Ask some employees in your company, or answer some customer questions you’re used to hearing.
Don’t forget to share the articles across social media.

Social Media in 2016

website tipsSocial media is not going away – plan to have your business or organization be more active with vendors and sister organizations. Real time social media is in, past tense coverage is out (but still good for SEO). Live video is where it’s at with today’s technology.

Blab lets anyone have their own show. It enables four people to chat on camera simultaneously – much like a talk show – while an audience of viewers watch. Blab is also closely tied to Twitter. You may use your Twitter account to log in, making it easy to share to your Twitter feed and draw an audience from the followers you’ve already earned.

Periscope (owned by Twitter) is a platform that allows you to video-record and broadcast to anywhere in the entire world. If you have ever been on Skype, it is a similar experience. However, instead of video conferencing with one person, you can stream to the masses.