page contents
Create A User-Friendly Website

Create A User-Friendly Website

Having a quality website is critical for your online success. After all, your website is, or should be, the center of your online presence. The best way to do this is to create a user friendly website that your target audience will enjoy. In the interest of analogies, your online presence is the same as if you were to be hosting an event. When you host an event, you need to find the right location for your event. Regardless of the amount of time you spend planning your event, the success of an event can all come down to location, location, location. The right venue can make a good event great. On the other hand, a bad venue can make an otherwise well planned event, fail. So to is your website! If the center of who you are is not well chosen and thought out, your business may not do as well.

If you already have a website, the first thing you should do is spend some time really looking at it. While doing this, ask yourself some key questions: Does my website serve the purpose I originally it to do? Does my website convey the purpose of my business? Who are the people I want visiting my online business? Am I providing the content my target audience wants? What is my website really being used for? These are some of the most essential questions to ask yourself about your website in order to make sure that it is user-centered and effective. In other words, is your website user-friendly and does it give its viewers what they want?

The end result of all of your hard work on social media, search engine optimization (SEO), and online ads is to get customers, and potential customers, to your website. Your website is where your potential customers can be converted into paying customers. It is also where current customers can find what they need.

If you don’t have a website, it is in your best interest to use the following steps to help your website be exactly what your customers — both current and future — are looking for. However, we also encourage you to make sure that you are not spending all of your budget on a website that nobody can find. Be sure to hold back some budget for marketing your site.

Have Good Web Hosting

When it comes to your site running well, hosting makes all the difference. In fact, even the search engines want your site running smoothly. A slow site will often-times rank lower than better running site. In our opinion, some of the best hosting sites are:

Bluehost
Siteground
► GoDaddy
► Amazon Web Services

You may be wondering, what a hosting site does. In short, a hosting service keeps your website up and running. In other words, your site cannot survive and thrive without them. The hosting platforms mentioned above have different strengths and weaknesses. Be sure to do some of your own research to determine which hosting service is right for you. Looking back to our event analogy; strong hosting for your website is a direct correlation to the environment, location, and resources of a venue. Picking a hosting platform that provides the right resources for your business will set the stage for your website and your business in the digital realm. Using a good venue (i.e. hosting service) makes all the difference in the world for your guests. In a business situation, the hosting platform will take care of essentials that are otherwise difficult for you to do on your own — file storage, email hosting, server space, databases and much more. They provide these types of resources so that you don’t have to provide them yourself.

Basic Metrics to Look For:

► An uptime of 99.9% — this means your website will be up and running, on their servers, 365 days per year. Anything less than that can, and will, damage your business.

► Unmetered/Unlimited Bandwidth

► Unmetered/Unlimited Webspace or Disc Space

► Quality Customer Service

► High Ratings/Feedback

Additional Questions to Consider:

► How many domains can you have as part of their services?

► Do they support e-Commerce capabilities?

► How much does it cost?

best web hosting image

Web Hosting

Choose An Effective URL

A URL, simply put, is commonly referred to as your web address. It is what people use to locate your website. The URL is basically a global address for specific documents, pages, or other resources on the World Wide Web. In fact, the word “locater” is even in the name — URL stands for Uniform Resource Locater. Best SEO Masters URL is http://www.bestseomasters.com/. If you will follow these tips, you will be able to create an effective URL for your business.

Make It Relevant

Your URL should represent either your company name or what visitors will find on your website. It is common practice to use your company name with no spaces followed by a domain name like .com or .org. However, there are times when it makes more sense to have a URL that is related to what you do instead. For example, if you sell kitchen supplies, your URL could be, http://www.kitchensupplies.com/. Either way, your URL should be relevant to your company. If you choose a URL that is not readily associated with your business, you may need to pursue a variety of branding opportunities to connect your web address to your business in people’s minds — making your URL relevant to your company.

Keep It Simple

There are a lot of good reasons to keep your URL short and simple. Of course, short is relative but you need to make sure that your URL is short and simple enough to be typed without difficulty. Long and/or difficult addresses can cause problems for users and introduce opportunities for typos to land people in the wrong place.

Things to Avoid:

► Words/Names that are difficult to spell

► Excessive and/or irregular repetition of letters

► Long strings of words

► Hyphens and underscores

When listing your URL on both physical and digital assets, you may choose to capitalize the beginnings of words to help separate them in people’s minds. For example, if your URL is something like happygoluckytime.com*, you may want to think about listing it as HappyGoLuckyTime.com*. The capital letters won’t affect people’s ability to get to your site, but it will help separate the words in their minds.

url on computer screen to demonstrate the need for a quality website url

Make It Effective

Your URL will be present in many different locations. In order for it to be effective, you’ll need to think about how your URL will be used on your social media platforms, on other websites, and even on signs and other physical assets. As mentioned above, you may choose to use capital letters to delineate words within your URL. Whatever you decide, however, make sure that you are being consistent in your use. To really be effective, it needs to be both clear and memorable. You should also determine whether you will pursue your URL as a keyword for search results because this will affect how you use your URL on your site and elsewhere.

A URL, simply put, is commonly referred to as your web address. It is what people use to locate your website. The URL is basically a global address for specific documents, pages, or other resources on the World Wide Web. In fact, the word “locater” is even in the name — URL stands for Uniform Resource Locater. Best SEO Masters URL is is http://www.bestseomasters.com/. If you will follow these tips, you will be able to create an effective URL for your business.

Keep the User in Mind

When creating and branding your URL, you need to keep the user in mind. People are more likely to visit your website directly when your URL is memorable and easy to type. That is because strong URLs make it easy for users to get to your site.

Examples of Strong URLs:

► color.adobe.com — Very simple and highly relevant to the site’s content especially since Adobe is already branded in most people’s minds.

► www.idahofallsdental.com — This URL has strong ties to both an industry (family dentistry) and a location (Idaho Falls), making this a very strong URL.

Examples of Weak URLs:

► www.a4pt.org — This URL is so simplified that it could lose all meaning without strong, targeted branding.

► www.commoncompanyname.com — Using a common name for your URL gives no indication as to who you are and what you do. It can also me confused with other common company names.

Build A Strong, Effective Website

As we already mentioned, a strong, effective website should be at the center of your online presence. Everything you do — all of your social media outreach, search engine results and online advertising — should be geared toward directing qualified traffic to your site so that you can sell your products or services. In order to accomplish this, your website needs to be built on a strong foundation. You need to have a strong Content Management System (CMS). Some of the best, and most commonly used, CMSs are WordPress, Wix and Joomla.

A STRONG, EFFECTIVE WEBSITE SHOULD BE AT THE CENTER OF YOUR ONLINE PRESENCE!

Finding the right CMS for your website is the key to effectively managing your time while still having a great website. Even if you know how to code, manually coding your website can drain a large amount of time and energy that could be directed more effectively elsewhere in your business. One of the main benefits of these CMSs is that they do most of the background coding and programming for you.

If you don’t have any web design or coding experience, we strongly suggest that you have your website designed by a web design company. However, you’ll want to make sure that they build your site with a CMS that you can learn how to update yourself. You generally don’t want to be responsible for making big changes to your site, but being able to make small updates without working through a third party can be very beneficial under specific circumstances.

Most hosting services will allow you to connect your website directly to your chosen CMS, but it’s important to make sure that you can use the two together. The whole point of your CMS is to make website creation easier, not more complicated.

Additional Ways A Good CMS Can Help

Pre-Designed Themes

wordpress logo with blue gearsA pre-designed theme is a template that can be used with a specific CMS to build a strong, attractive website more quickly. Some of these themes are available for free. If you would like to find specific features or designs, you can also purchase themes ranging from $50 to $100 depending on the developer and the features that are included in the theme. Keep in mind that you get what you pay for so it can be a good idea to invest in a quality theme. ThemeForest*, TemplateMonster* and Wix Templates* offer many attractive, effective, and mobile friendly templates that can be used to create a strong website. Many of these themes are also designed to be responsive and look good on a variety of mobile devices as well as in web browsers.

CMS Plugins

Most CMSs offer a variety of plugins that can be used to help you create landing pages, slideshows, and more. Most of the plugins are quick and easy to install, but you may need to take some time to learn exactly how to use the plugins to your advantage. Also, be sure to read any feedback and reviews that the plugins have so you know whether its functional for what you are trying to accomplish.

E-Commerce & Back Office Options

If you are looking to sell tangible products and need some ecommerce functionality, or any other back office options, you’ll want to make sure that you choose a CMS that is designed to support these functions. This will allow your website to function correctly without having to spend a lot of time on custom coding.

Provide Useful Content

Once you have the right hosting platform, a solid URL, and a strong website to send your users to, it’s time to fill it up with content. If we go back to our event analogy, content correlates to the drinks, appetizers, entrées, and desserts that you serve in order to satisfy your guests once they are at your venue. But you may be asking yourself, what is content? To put it simply, content is information that you present in order to help your clients and prospective clients. Content comes in a wide variety of forms from onpage text to infographics and videos. This section is not intended to be a comprehensive look at content marketing, but it should help you understand the basic idea.

digital marketing funnelIn our experience, content should be used to strategically funnel your website visitors toward the actions you want them to take. To this end, we suggest creating a variety of content that fits into different sections of what we call the content funnel. Each piece of content should be designed to help your website visitors in some way. The main portions of the content funnel — and the ways you can help your visitors — are to: Inform, Instruct, Solve, & Sell.

Depending on their needs, visitors to your site may enter at different points in this funnel. The best results come when you provide content that addresses their specific needs at the point at which they enter your funnel. Users are generally looking for a solution to a problem for which you are able to provide an answer. As with any other strategic funnel, the upper levels are designed to expose a large number of people to your information. The trick is to use upper level content to help create more qualified traffic to your lower level content. Content can take a wide variety of forms, but it’s your job to make sure that it is the relevant solution your users are looking for. And, yes, one piece of content can sometimes fill more than one of these needs.

Having a quality website is critical for your online success. After all, your website is, or should be, the center of your online presence. The best way to do this is to create a user friendly website that your target audience will enjoy. In the interest of analogies, your online presence is the same as if you were to be hosting an event. When you host an event, you need to find the right location for your event. Regardless of the amount of time you spend planning your event, the success of an event can all come down to location, location, location. The right venue can make a good event great. On the other hand, a bad venue can make an otherwise well planned event, fail. So to is your website! If the center of who you are is not well chosen and thought out, your business may not do as well.

If you already have a website, the first thing you should do is spend some time really looking at it. While doing this, ask yourself some key questions: Does my website serve the purpose I originally it to do? Does my website convey the purpose of my business? Who are the people I want visiting my online business? Am I providing the content my target audience wants? What is my website really being used for? These are some of the most essential questions to ask yourself about your website in order to make sure that it is user-centered and effective. In other words, is your website user-friendly and does it give its viewers what they want?

The end result of all of your hard work on social media, search engine optimization (SEO), and online ads is to get customers, and potential customers, to your website. Your website is where your potential customers can be converted into paying customers. It is also where current customers can find what they need.

If you don’t have a website, it is in your best interest to use the following steps to help your website be exactly what your customers — both current and future — are looking for. However, we also encourage you to make sure that you are not spending all of your budget on a website that nobody can find. Be sure to hold back some budget for marketing your site.

Have Good Web Hosting

When it comes to your site running well, hosting makes all the difference. In fact, even the search engines want your site running smoothly. A slow site will often-times rank lower than better running site. In our opinion, some of the best hosting sites are:

Bluehost
Siteground
► GoDaddy
► Amazon Web Services

You may be wondering, what a hosting site does. In short, a hosting service keeps your website up and running. In other words, your site cannot survive and thrive without them. The hosting platforms mentioned above have different strengths and weaknesses. Be sure to do some of your own research to determine which hosting service is right for you. Looking back to our event analogy; strong hosting for your website is a direct correlation to the environment, location, and resources of a venue. Picking a hosting platform that provides the right resources for your business will set the stage for your website and your business in the digital realm. Using a good venue (i.e. hosting service) makes all the difference in the world for your guests. In a business situation, the hosting platform will take care of essentials that are otherwise difficult for you to do on your own — file storage, email hosting, server space, databases and much more. They provide these types of resources so that you don’t have to provide them yourself.

Basic Metrics to Look For:

► An uptime of 99.9% — this means your website will be up and running, on their servers, 365 days per year. Anything less than that can, and will, damage your business.

► Unmetered/Unlimited Bandwidth

► Unmetered/Unlimited Webspace or Disc Space

► Quality Customer Service

► High Ratings/Feedback

Additional Questions to Consider:

► How many domains can you have as part of their services?

► Do they support e-Commerce capabilities?

► How much does it cost?

best web hosting image

Web Hosting

Choose An Effective URL

A URL, simply put, is commonly referred to as your web address. It is what people use to locate your website. The URL is basically a global address for specific documents, pages, or other resources on the World Wide Web. In fact, the word “locater” is even in the name — URL stands for Uniform Resource Locater. Best SEO Masters URL is http://www.bestseomasters.com/. If you will follow these tips, you will be able to create an effective URL for your business.

Make It Relevant

Your URL should represent either your company name or what visitors will find on your website. It is common practice to use your company name with no spaces followed by a domain name like .com or .org. However, there are times when it makes more sense to have a URL that is related to what you do instead. For example, if you sell kitchen supplies, your URL could be, http://www.kitchensupplies.com/. Either way, your URL should be relevant to your company. If you choose a URL that is not readily associated with your business, you may need to pursue a variety of branding opportunities to connect your web address to your business in people’s minds — making your URL relevant to your company.

Keep It Simple

There are a lot of good reasons to keep your URL short and simple. Of course, short is relative but you need to make sure that your URL is short and simple enough to be typed without difficulty. Long and/or difficult addresses can cause problems for users and introduce opportunities for typos to land people in the wrong place.

Things to Avoid:

► Words/Names that are difficult to spell

► Excessive and/or irregular repetition of letters

► Long strings of words

► Hyphens and underscores

When listing your URL on both physical and digital assets, you may choose to capitalize the beginnings of words to help separate them in people’s minds. For example, if your URL is something like happygoluckytime.com*, you may want to think about listing it as HappyGoLuckyTime.com*. The capital letters won’t affect people’s ability to get to your site, but it will help separate the words in their minds.

url on computer screen to demonstrate the need for a quality website url

Make It Effective

Your URL will be present in many different locations. In order for it to be effective, you’ll need to think about how your URL will be used on your social media platforms, on other websites, and even on signs and other physical assets. As mentioned above, you may choose to use capital letters to delineate words within your URL. Whatever you decide, however, make sure that you are being consistent in your use. To really be effective, it needs to be both clear and memorable. You should also determine whether you will pursue your URL as a keyword for search results because this will affect how you use your URL on your site and elsewhere.

A URL, simply put, is commonly referred to as your web address. It is what people use to locate your website. The URL is basically a global address for specific documents, pages, or other resources on the World Wide Web. In fact, the word “locater” is even in the name — URL stands for Uniform Resource Locater. Best SEO Masters URL is is http://www.bestseomasters.com/. If you will follow these tips, you will be able to create an effective URL for your business.

Keep the User in Mind

When creating and branding your URL, you need to keep the user in mind. People are more likely to visit your website directly when your URL is memorable and easy to type. That is because strong URLs make it easy for users to get to your site.

Examples of Strong URLs:

► color.adobe.com — Very simple and highly relevant to the site’s content especially since Adobe is already branded in most people’s minds.

► www.idahofallsdental.com — This URL has strong ties to both an industry (family dentistry) and a location (Idaho Falls), making this a very strong URL.

Examples of Weak URLs:

► www.a4pt.org — This URL is so simplified that it could lose all meaning without strong, targeted branding.

► www.commoncompanyname.com — Using a common name for your URL gives no indication as to who you are and what you do. It can also me confused with other common company names.

Build A Strong, Effective Website

As we already mentioned, a strong, effective website should be at the center of your online presence. Everything you do — all of your social media outreach, search engine results and online advertising — should be geared toward directing qualified traffic to your site so that you can sell your products or services. In order to accomplish this, your website needs to be built on a strong foundation. You need to have a strong Content Management System (CMS). Some of the best, and most commonly used, CMSs are WordPress, Wix and Joomla.

A STRONG, EFFECTIVE WEBSITE SHOULD BE AT THE CENTER OF YOUR ONLINE PRESENCE!

Finding the right CMS for your website is the key to effectively managing your time while still having a great website. Even if you know how to code, manually coding your website can drain a large amount of time and energy that could be directed more effectively elsewhere in your business. One of the main benefits of these CMSs is that they do most of the background coding and programming for you.

If you don’t have any web design or coding experience, we strongly suggest that you have your website designed by a web design company. However, you’ll want to make sure that they build your site with a CMS that you can learn how to update yourself. You generally don’t want to be responsible for making big changes to your site, but being able to make small updates without working through a third party can be very beneficial under specific circumstances.

Most hosting services will allow you to connect your website directly to your chosen CMS, but it’s important to make sure that you can use the two together. The whole point of your CMS is to make website creation easier, not more complicated.

Additional Ways A Good CMS Can Help

Pre-Designed Themes

wordpress logo with blue gearsA pre-designed theme is a template that can be used with a specific CMS to build a strong, attractive website more quickly. Some of these themes are available for free. If you would like to find specific features or designs, you can also purchase themes ranging from $50 to $100 depending on the developer and the features that are included in the theme. Keep in mind that you get what you pay for so it can be a good idea to invest in a quality theme. ThemeForest*, TemplateMonster* and Wix Templates* offer many attractive, effective, and mobile friendly templates that can be used to create a strong website. Many of these themes are also designed to be responsive and look good on a variety of mobile devices as well as in web browsers.

CMS Plugins

Most CMSs offer a variety of plugins that can be used to help you create landing pages, slideshows, and more. Most of the plugins are quick and easy to install, but you may need to take some time to learn exactly how to use the plugins to your advantage. Also, be sure to read any feedback and reviews that the plugins have so you know whether its functional for what you are trying to accomplish.

E-Commerce & Back Office Options

If you are looking to sell tangible products and need some ecommerce functionality, or any other back office options, you’ll want to make sure that you choose a CMS that is designed to support these functions. This will allow your website to function correctly without having to spend a lot of time on custom coding.

Provide Useful Content

Once you have the right hosting platform, a solid URL, and a strong website to send your users to, it’s time to fill it up with content. If we go back to our event analogy, content correlates to the drinks, appetizers, entrées, and desserts that you serve in order to satisfy your guests once they are at your venue. But you may be asking yourself, what is content? To put it simply, content is information that you present in order to help your clients and prospective clients. Content comes in a wide variety of forms from onpage text to infographics and videos. This section is not intended to be a comprehensive look at content marketing, but it should help you understand the basic idea.

digital marketing funnelIn our experience, content should be used to strategically funnel your website visitors toward the actions you want them to take. To this end, we suggest creating a variety of content that fits into different sections of what we call the content funnel. Each piece of content should be designed to help your website visitors in some way. The main portions of the content funnel — and the ways you can help your visitors — are to: Inform, Instruct, Solve, & Sell.

Depending on their needs, visitors to your site may enter at different points in this funnel. The best results come when you provide content that addresses their specific needs at the point at which they enter your funnel. Users are generally looking for a solution to a problem for which you are able to provide an answer. As with any other strategic funnel, the upper levels are designed to expose a large number of people to your information. The trick is to use upper level content to help create more qualified traffic to your lower level content. Content can take a wide variety of forms, but it’s your job to make sure that it is the relevant solution your users are looking for. And, yes, one piece of content can sometimes fill more than one of these needs.

Non-www and HTTPS Website Redirction

Non-www and HTTPS Website Redirction

Let’s say you own a website that you would like to change the URL and redirect to an HTTPS. For example, your website may be, http://www.example-website.com and now you want to make a change. At one point, you have wanted your visitors to go to the non-www version rather than the www version of your domain. In addition, if you follow best practices regarding security, you might want to switch from HTTP to HTTPS. The question now becomes, what should you do if you want to make both these changes? You have probably figured out that you will to redirect traffic from your current domain to your now preferred domain. But what’s the best way to do this? Is there a preferred order for completing these tasks? Where should you begin? YoasSEO has put together a short video that helps explain this. Check out the video and the short explanation below.

How to Switch from HTTP to HTTPS and www to non-www

The fact is, you should make both changes at the same time. You should redirect the HTTP link straight to the HTTPS version without the www. Keep in mind, this isn’t just as simple as setting up two simple 301 redirects. While this may sound like the most obvious of solutions, you shouldn’t use two 301 redirects to switch from HTTP to HTTPS and from www to non-www versions of your URL.

Forcing HTTPS is something that you need to test really well. There are all sorts of things in your site that probably aren’t HTTPS ready that you should know of upfront. It can be awfully difficult to get your site converted to HTTPS — even if you don’t even have ads. Now, if you do have ad services, it can be even more difficult to get your site working on HTTPS. Don’t let this get you down. Just because it can be difficult, doesn’t mean it has to be overly difficult. You should just make sure to do it in one go. There happens to be a secret option: redirect from one to the other straight away, and don’t think about anything else.

If you really can do HTTPS for everything and it works fine, make sure to add an HSTS: ‘Strict Transport Security Header’, which forces everything to be over HTTPS. And then, if the browser sees an HTTP link to your domain in the content somewhere, it will still automatically grab the HTTPS version — thus, the right one.

Your Website Speed Could Hold You Back

Your Website Speed Could Hold You Back

Site performance is an integral part of any website’s success — this holds true for SEO as well. Whether you are operating a online store or a blog, the speed and ease with which users interact with your content has a direct impact on initial traffic, repeat visits, and overall page rankings. Website speed is taken into account by Google when calculating page rankings. Their filters can estimate load times and use that information to determine the value and reliability of your website. While it is true that the importance Google assigns to site speed itself is somewhat limited, and there are definitely other factors that trump it, the way a website performs has an effect in its overall usability. Anymore, internet users have notoriously short attention spans. A site that is slow to load will not captivate and hold an audience and will, in turn, experience a high bounce rate, diminishing traffic, and fewer conversions.

HOW IMPORTANT IS WEBSITE SPEED TO GOOGLE?

In this case, site speed really refers to the load time of a website. How long does it take for a landing page to load after the user clicks on a desired search engine results page (SERP)? Since there are so many sources available with good information, Google’s filters use load time as an additional point of comparison when multiple sites have comparable relevance and authority statistics. As far as Google is concerned, website speed has a minimal impact on page rankings — only about 1%. But, from a larger perspective, websites with faster load times offer more value to the internet user translating into higher customer satisfaction. This ultimately translates to fewer bounce backs (lower bounce rate), more return visits, higher share rates, and an increase in perceived value and authority.

COMMON FACTORS THAT SLOW DOWN A WEBSITE

There are some common culprits to look for when analyzing the speed of your website. First, and probably one of the most important, is the quality and reliability of your hosting service. Not all hosting services are created equally, and shared servers can inevitably lead to uneven performance. If your website is too slow, and pages are taking too long to load, it may be time to consider a different hosting service.

Another large contributor to the function and usability of your website is the construction of it. Along with the construction of your site, take into consideration that certain apps and add-ons are notorious bandwidth thieves. When assessing the speed and performance of your website, consider the following.

  • Too Many Ads: Ads, and the revenue they produce, are an important part of any website. However, slow-loading advertisements tend to bog down pages, slow down your site, and ultimately lead to higher bounce rates.
  • Too Many Widgets or Plug-ins: Having too many widgets and plugins can really kill the speed and performance of your site. Use them sparingly. Podcast links, comment plug-ins, and social sharing buttons can add seconds to your load time. Just as with any business aspect, a cost/benefit analysis can prove useful. Balance the value of any widgets and plug-ins on your site against the increased load time they require.
  • Complex Design and Theme of Your Website: Everyone wants to stand out online by having a site that is bold, attractive, and unique. Sometimes, however, too much can be just that — too much. Overly complex design themes will lead to slow load times. And with advances in themes and design elements, it is much easier to stand out online while keeping a simple website.
  • Optimize Your Graphics and Images: Images help to brighten up a page, attract the users’ attention, and make their overall experience better. And while style counts, overly bloated images can take an excruciatingly long time to load. Large image files slow down page performance and interfere with the functionality of your site. There are plugins and options for rendering “web-quality” images on your site to improve load times. Another example you may consider is using PNG8 instead of PNG24 for your image formats.
  • CSS and JavaScript: These can most times be the easiest to tackle in size reduction. To condense your CSS and JavaScript files, you could utilize gzip compression, minified code, or other options that are available to you.

HOW TO TEST YOUR SITE’S SPEED

Today, there are a wide number of tools that can be used to test your website speed and performance. Most of these tools are even free!  These website tools provide an easy way for webmasters to test the speed of their site and to calculate any changes that need to be made to improve overall performance.

  • PageSpeed Insights: This tool is operated and offered by Google. Simply submit your URL, click the analyze button, and PageSpeed Insights will return with a speed evaluation. They will also provide you with recommendations on how to increase your site’s load time.
  • YSlow: YSlow is a website performance-measuring tool that was designed by Yahoo!. It provides a detailed report on site performance with accompanying recommendations on how to increase its speed and performance.
  • Google Analytics: Google Analytics really does analyze it all for you. There is a “site speed” analytics located under the “content” sub-section so that you can see your daily speed.
  • Pingdom: This website performance tool is great for showing the general performance grade and is very simple to use.
  • Web Page Test: Of all the tools mentioned, this is probably the most comprehensive tool to test your website’s performance. It runs tests from multiple locations around the world using real browsers and at real consumer connection speeds. You will also receive recommendations for improvements that need to be made.

This is just a sample list of some of the tools available for testing your website and its performance. But, they provide a great starting point for webmasters in need of isolating issues and finding solutions to site speed.

While the speed of a website is a small factor in the equation Google uses to assign page rankings, it is a huge factor in the way visitors interact with your site. With advances in technology, people’s patience has diminished. We all want our information now. Faster websites give better customer satisfaction — and that is at the root of all good SEO practices. Valuable content, coupled with speed and ease of use, translates into better user experience. In short, a better experience for your clients or follower will lead to higher traffic, more returning visitors, and a better overall online performance.

SEMrush

Do I Need A Website

Do I Need A Website

Let’s get right to the heart of the issue right now; small business owners are concerned with their expenditures, as they should be, but most have no idea where to cheap-out and where to invest.  That being said, one of the most frequently asked questions I get is, “Do I need a website for my small business?”  The short answer to this questions is yes, you absolutely need a website for your business!

It’s a whole new digital age.  Everyone, just about, is online.  Whether they are on a desktop, laptop, tablet, or their mobile phones, people are constantly connected to the internet.  In fact, a recent study shows that the average person spends 5.6 hours of their day connected to the internet; that’s desktop/laptop, mobile, and other mobile devices.  If you don’t think you need to ramp up your internet presence after learning that, you probably shouldn’t be in business.

2015-mobile-statistics-best-seo-companies-best-seo-masters
2015-internet-trends-report-best-seo-companies-best-seo-masters

Whether your business is small or large, sells products or services, or provides informational content, you should have a website. Period. No question. Without a doubt.  You need to be able to reach the millions of people that no longer are using the phone book to find you.  Competition is stiff and if you can’t be found on a mobile device, you are missing out on a tremendous amount of traffic.

I hear a lot of business owners say their products won’t sell online.  Don’t be so quick to dismiss your product as one that can’t be sold online. Anymore, there are very few things that can’t be sold over the internet.  And, that’s probably because there is a law against it.  If that’s the case, you might want to expand your horizons.

Anything you want to purchase can be found online.  From books to computers, cars to real estate, jet airplanes to natural gas, even food can be ordered and delivered to your home from an online platform.  If you can imagine it, someone will figure out how to sell it online.

At this point, it’s probably just as important to understand that I’m not saying you should put all your efforts into selling your wares over the internet.  Though, if your product lends itself to easy online sales, you should certainly be considering it. My point here is that you should, at the very least, have a presence on the web so that your potential customers, potential employees, and potential business partners are able to quickly and easily find out more about your business and the products or services you offer.

Now, you are probably thinking that getting a site up might just be a good idea and that you’ll have your buddy down the street slap one together for you.  Keep in mind that it’s not enough to just have a website. Your website needs to have a professional feel.  Back to the age-old adage, first impressions are everything.  Since many consumers now search for information online before making a purchase at a brick-and-mortar store, your site may be your first and only chance you have at making a good impression on that potential buyer.  If your website looks like it was designed by my four year old, your chance at making a good first impression will go right out the window.

Here is where the internet will actually help you out.  Because you only have one shot at making a good first impression you want to get it right.  It is possible to design a professional-looking website without breaking the bank.  There are several hosting companies (Bluehost or SiteGround are my favorites) that, when subscribed, will provide you with a copy of WordPress.

WordPress is, by far, one of my favorite platforms on which to build a website. You can do just about anything you want within WordPress by simply installing a plugin. It is probably the easiest to learn and use. With a well-designed site, your operation can project the image and professionalism of a large company. The inverse is also true. I’ve seen many big company websites that were so poorly designed and hard to navigate that they completely lacked professionalism and credibility. That can be good for you though. If they are losing customers because of their website, you have the opportunity to pick those customers up because of your website. Don’t put it off any longer! Get setup with either Bluehost or SiteGround and get your WordPress website up and running.

Pin It on Pinterest