Google and other top search engines are constantly changing their algorithms and search criteria. Just as we update our phones, our computers and tablets, our websites need a new updated platform as well to stay current with today’s marketplace of users and buyers. A website re-design can breath new life into your business. As your business grows, so must the functionality and pleasing platform of your website. A new “first look” is always possible with a new website re-design. Experience teaches us that users prefer buying from and using more updated sites. Conversion rate occurs when visitors to the website go one step further and make a purchase or ask for more information regarding your product or service.
Content and page length …how important is it?
The content which is currently being used on your site as it is now, has already been scanned by search engines. This content most likely has been on-line for quite a while. Unless you blog each week, the search engines have no reason to return to the site. As we discuss new design, we must remember that re-writing the page content is a top priority. Developers do not want to publish old content. Remember as you are developing new content that less is best for today’s users and page length matters. No one wants to scroll to view important content. Use a few well placed bullets and keep the content on the home page to around 200 words. On subsequent pages you may use 350 to 400 words. New content will attract a new audience of users and clients. To allow a better viewing experience across all browsers, it is also important to choose fonts carefully for your page content. There are many sites who offer fonts which can be viewed properly on all computers. Google has some great fonts which are safe to use. These fonts offer you a list of creative choices for each writing style.
How much custom programming is suggested?
It is possible to ask for re-design without responsive programming. However, in today’s culture there are very few of us not using our I-Pads, I-Phones, Droids or Tablets for browsing services online. It is best to make sure the site is programmed for mobile friendliness to cover all audiences. This means asking for responsive design strategy.
How important is animation today to attract end users?
If you insist on animation for the site, you might consider jQuery changing images and add some informative bullets or messaging to the pictures. This will offer the viewer a quick glimpse of what you do and still provide the dramatic effect of animation. Flash is not recommended for top producing sites. Most viewers stay on the site only a few seconds and want to get to their information quickly. They are not there to be entertained.
Functionality plays a leading role in today’s top sites:
Adding a “forms” page on the site is always a good choice as you consider your visitors and what they need. PDF files which can be downloaded and used, or fillable forms which can be completed on-line are great for some businesses. Call to action verbs such as “contact us” or “buy now” buttons, clearly visible and brightly colored will bring about a faster response and can increase traffic patterns significantly. Chat rooms are available for those site owners available 24/7 to answer concerns. Site owners offering training CDs on-line, training classes or other options can be made available by today’s technology. Whatever function is needed for your unique end users should be considered as you plan your re-design for 2013.
Wow Factor! How much does it matter?
The WOW factor as we know it today is not what it was 10 years ago. We no longer expect animation to keep our attention. For the best web experience for our end users, and to satisfy our expectations, we are looking to increase our traffic patterns, and build a better conversion rate. Turning visitors into “real buyers” is what we’re all looking for. Increasing traffic and enjoying more revenue is the proof of the pudding.
Article by Jean Holland-Rose, SEO Professional
Inside Design Orlando