7 Tips for Increasing Traffic to Your Website

7 Tips for Increasing Traffic to Your Website

No matter how great your website is, it is useless if people do not pass through to see it.

1. Use Meta Tags

Meta tags are what tell search engines if your website is relevant to what people are searching for. Your Meta tag does not show up on your website; only search engines see it. The Search engine shows your website in the search results when the keywords they search match your meta tags.

2. Have a Single h1 on each Page

Each post or page should have a single h1. If it has more than one it will confuse search engines and your readers. When you put up a second h1 your readers will think you are starting a new post, and the search engine…well, it will just be confused, and your site may not show up in search results.

3. Promote Across the Social Media

People are not very likely to find your website if you don’t tell people about it. If you share it across social media, people are more likely to notice your website and start exploring it.

4. SSL-HTTPS

An SSL certificate protects sensitive information of users and customers (like banking info, and personal information). It also boosts your Google rankings, making your website easier to find when people search for businesses like yours.

5. Write Fresh Content Often

People are more likely to come back to your website if they know there might be new content. If you aren’t adding fresh content often, people will just give up and forget about your website and never come back, so make sure to put up new content often.

6. Make a Quality Domain Name

Believe it or not, the name of your website can affect whether people come back to your website or not. People make big assumptions based on the name of your website. If your website name is silly or cheesy, people may think your entire website is silly and cheesy.

7. Make Sure Your Website Supports all Browsers

If your website doesn’t work on Firefox, anyone who uses Firefox will not be able to see your website. This causes you to lose hundreds of customers. On the other hand, if your website only works on Firefox, you are losing the people who use all the other browsers in the world. That’s a lot of people. You need to test your website on all browsers to make sure your content is available to all of your customers.

Color and Spacing Mistakes to Avoid in Your Website

Color and Spacing Mistakes to Avoid in Your Website

Small visual issues can add up to a general perception that your business does not care or does not know how to make quality products. A fair minded person might recognize that you can be really good at your craft and just not very good with computers, but most people are going to subconsciously judge your product or service based on the quality of your site.

Inconsistent or Insufficient White Space

Inconsistent or insufficient whitespace
Insufficient white-space decreases readability.

Spacing is important. You must have enough white space in your website but not too much. If you don’t have enough space, things run into each other, but if you have too much it will look boring an empty and may confuse your readers.

Misaligned Text

Misaligned text is confusing and hard to read, especially if it overlaps an image or other text. Another reason you should avoid misaligned text is because it makes your website look unkempt, and gives the impression that you don’t care. It has much the same effect as not brushing your hair in the morning.

Odd blank spaces

Odd blank spaces

An odd blank space on your website is like that awkward silence in your conversation that you wish you could fill in, but you just can’t think of anything to say. This is uncomfortable for you and, yes, it is uncomfortable for them too. A professional website builder knows how to smoothly transition from one part of the conversation to the next without leaving his audience to stumble through the awkward silences searching for what comes next.

Overloaded Menus

Overloaded menus

It is always good to have a menu to get from place to place on your site— But this might be a little too much. Overloaded menus are really tacky and hard to maneuver. Think about the key things that people will be looking for and put those on the menu. This is not a place to put a link to every single page.

Too Much Red or Other Hot Color

Too much red or other “hot” color

Hot colors can be very powerful for attracting attention, however it is, in fact, possible to have TOO MUCH HOT COLOR! Take this example of a page with a bright red background. It just hurts. Nobody wants to look at this. Hot colors must be used in moderation or they will turn eyes away instead of attracting them to your site.

Clashing color palette or none at all

Clashing color palette or none at all

This may look like an exaggerated example, but sadly there are actually sites out there that look like this. Even if this isn’t you, it is important to make sure your color choices are pleasant. Too many colors just hurt the eyes, but, a completely colorless site can be bland. Poor color choices are often associated with ancient websites, and thus affect not only the appeal to your readers eyes, but also their level of trust for you. Readers associate old websites with information that is not up-to-date and will usually look elsewhere for whatever they are looking for if they see that your site is an antique.

5 Common Coding Mistakes in Websites

5 Common Coding Mistakes in Websites

Small visual issues can add up to a general perception that your business does not care or does not know how to make quality products. A fair minded person might recognize that you can be really good at your craft and just not very good with computers, but most people are going to subconsciously judge your product or service based on the quality of your site.

1. Content moves when ads load

Alright, I am reading your blog. “Today I went to the *screen suddenly jerks as ad loads in* and their lasagna tasted *does it again* he ran to the restroom….” Yeah, what a great blog post I read today.

2. Website not responsive

Have you ever visited a website on your phone and everything was tiny and you had to zoom in to see anything? If your site is responsive it will detect the size of the screen it is displayed on, and resize itself appropriately.

3. Broken clicked or hover state (including click target)

4. Formatting (css) fails to load

Formatting (css) fails to load

This is just confusing and ugly… and whatever you do, you do not want a confusing and ugly website. You need to write your CSS in a way where it will always work, and if it breaks anyway, you need to fix it. Remember to test your website often to make sure it is still working correctly.

5. No way to get home

You want to have a way to get home other than changing the URL. If you don’t, your users will get stuck on the page they are on, and whatever they link too. The homepage is the cross roads where you can get anywhere… if they can’t get back to the homepage, they lose the opportunity to get to many of your pages easily. If you don’t believe this actually happens, here is an example

5 Worst Mistakes You Can Make When Adding Images to Your Website

5 Worst Mistakes You Can Make When Adding Images to Your Website

Small visual issues can add up to a general perception that your business does not care or does not know how to make quality products. A fair minded person might recognize that you can be really good at your craft and just not very good with computers, but most people are going to subconsciously judge your product or service based on the quality of your site.

1. Misaligned Images

Misaligned pictures
Misaligned images look tacky and unprofessional

You do not want misaligned images because they not only look bad, but they make it seem like you don’t know what you are doing. It ruins the professional looks of your website.

2. Ads or other “widgets” overlapping text

I hate this more than anything. When I have to scroll just right or close the add or map widget in order to see what it is you have to say or sell, it is very frustrating. I most likely will leave your site for this problem.

3. Missing images

If you have missing images, my suggestion would be to remove them, or fix the problem quickly. a big white space in the middle of your website… is well… not exactly good-looking. And everyone will think you don’t care about your website enough to fix your image problem.

4. Bad pictures (bad lighting, bad resolution, irrelevant)

I don’t think I have to say much on this one. If you are talking about dogs, and you have a picture of a dumbbell, or you have low quality images (eg. bad lighting, or resolution) it isn’t going to give a good first impression.

5. No Favicon

Any professional website will have a favicon. Your user will assume your website is broken if you are missing a favicon, and they may even think that you need to take better care of your website. It’s almost as bad as a store with no sign.

6 Text Mistakes to Watch Out For in Your Website

6 Text Mistakes to Watch Out For in Your Website

Small visual issues can add up to a general perception that your business does not care or does not know how to make quality products. A fair minded person might recognize that you can be really good at your craft and just not very good with computers, but most people are going to subconsciously judge your product or service based on the quality of your site.

1. Mis-matched and inconsistent font usage

Changing the font of your text constantly is not a good idea.  It just looks tacky and draws people’s attention away from what you are saying and directs it to the formatting. It can also confuse your visitors and overwhelm them.

2. Unreadable text because because of color choice or busy background

Your color choice really can affect if people can read your text. And you really should be careful, because a small amount of text can make a big difference. Every word in your website should be important, so that missing just one of those is a problem. Now if that word isn’t important, you can solve the problem and just get rid of it.

3. Script, handwritten or cursive fonts

If you use complex fonts it is likely to make it hard to read, and impossible to skim through –which is what most people do btw. It is best to use simple san-serif fonts like: Arial, Futura, and many others.

4. Text overlapping images

I don’t think I have to say much about this one… If your text and your pictures are overlapping it is going to look very unprofessional, un-trust-worthy, and could make it hard to read your highly valuable text too.

5. Over or undersized fonts

If you make the words too big, it is just going to be frustrating having to constantly scroll down to see more, but if it is too small, nobody (especially elderly) is going to be able to, or will have to strain more than what is comfortable to read it.

6. Pages filled with links with no content or anchor text

Pages filled with links with no content or anchor text
Pages filled with links look tacky.

Pages filled with links looks tacky. You want your website to looks professional, not tacky. If it has a lot of links with content in between, that is fine, or if it has anchor text. But if is a page filled with lines and lines of links, well, it does the opposite of improving your website’s looks.

4 Tips for Improving Your Page Speed

4 Tips for Improving Your Page Speed

Research shows that most people will leave your site if it fails to load in 3 seconds and that every fraction of a second has a major impact on whether someone stays or moves on to another site. In addition, search engines rank sites based on speed.

1. Control image file size

Control image file size – note that visual size on the page can be significantly different from file size. Make your image file size smaller, that will help the page load faster. You can make your images be seen much bigger than the file says it is.

2. Limit custom font usage to one or two per site.

You should not have more than two fonts on your website. Once you begin to have two or three, or five and six, it starts to look tacky, plus your browser has to load all of those fonts, and it will really slow down your website. Keep it simple. Simplicity looks good, works well, and is all together the better option.

3. Only allow ads that are profitable and monitor their performance closely.

Only put ads that are helping your website in some way. If the ad is just going to sit there slowing down your website, and advertising for the other company, get rid of it. It is hurting you, and helping them. The ads that are helping you in someway, you can keep, but watch them closely. If an ad is seriously slowing down your website, it may be hurting you more than it helps you.

4. Use as many images as needed but no more.

Use as many images as you think you need, but do not use too many. Images are one of the many things that will slow down your website. If you put too many images in your website, the loading time will be longer, and sometimes there might be blank spaces instead of images.

11 Information Architecture Mistakes to Avoid in Your Website

11 Information Architecture Mistakes to Avoid in Your Website

Making sure that visitors can find what you want them to find is second only in importance to making sure they can find what they are looking for.

1. Avoid too many Pop-ups

You may think that bombarding people with pop-ups the moment they open your website is a good idea because they encourage people to decide to buy or subscribe, right? And if they don’t encourage them to do that, it will encourage them to close your website instantly. They will slow down your website and make people more likely to jump back and close the tab or absentmindedly close all the pop-ups. Even if it is just one pop-up, people tend to just close them.

2. Avoid things that look like headings, but are not

Things that look like headlines that are not

One thing that is sure to confuse people, is if you make your headings small and your text large. one other things that confuses people is if, in the middle of a paragraph, you make one line of text really big, that will confuse people, and make them think that it is the beginning of a new section. They will have trouble comprehending what you are saying, and will turn away confused.

3. Avoid walls-of-text

You need to avoid walls of text, which means having more than 300 without section breaks. If you have small amount of text, heading, small amount of text, and back and forth between things, it is okay to have more than 300 words in a page, But if you saw 400 words sitting there on a page, with no breaks, are you REALLY going to read it all? If you would, you have to put it in perspective. If you would read that, you must be very patient. Most people nowadays are in a big hurry, very impatient, and all they think about is moving on… would THEY read it?

4. Avoid paragraphs or pages that mix multiple topics without structure

This is yet another thing you need to watch for, to bring down confusion levels. A very confusing paragraph, would go from selling candy, to how to set a broken bone, and then you proceed to tell your users your contact information. And you tell them that all in one paragraph or page, with nothing telling them about the switch! Selling candy and telling people how to set a bone should not be one one website, let alone one page or paragraph! So please, to avoid confusion, add headings, and have a plan of what you are going to say before you say it, so that you cannot wander around with your words to every place on the earth.

5. Avoid misleading calls to action

Your calls to action should tell people exactly what they are doing when they click the button. If your user clicks a button, and it takes them to a page that doesn’t match, they will be confused, and…well…let’s just say the purpose of putting that call to action there will be lost. Here are examples of common mistakes made in calls to action:

  • “Submit” or “Click here” leads to a purchase
  • “Buy now” leads to a subscription
  • “Contact” leads to anything other than a form

6. Avoid mislabeled links or menu items

Your customers want to click the contact button on your menu, and find a phone number, email address, and a contact form. Don’t give them the inconvenience of sending them to your about page from the “Contact” button. And same for the “About” button or any other button/link.

7. Avoid broken links and buttons

You do not want your website to be filled with buttons and links that don’t work. It will be counterproductive. When a button doesn’t work, the way to the place you were leading them is lost. If it happens to be important information, or worse, the “buy now” or “Subscribe”, or the button for whatever your website is for, It could make your website completely useless.

8. Avoid having too many menu items

When your menu items have long names, or there are just a lot of them, it will look cramped, people will have trouble choosing which page to go to. Over all, it is best to just put the important things on your menu, and to give them short memorable names like, “Home”, “About”, “Contact”. Don’t worry about the names of your menu items being over-used. There is a reason they are used so much, and that reason is, that they work really well.

9. Avoid deep nesting of menu items

You should not have a slide-down from one of your menu items, and then a slide-down from one of the menu items in the first slide-down. First of all, that makes it very difficult for people using mobile devices, since they cannot hover over the menu to make the slide-down, slide down. Second, it makes it hard for people to find what they need. One easy way to avoid that, is too have less items on your menu.

10. Avoid requiring several page jumps to get to key content

Your key content should be on the first page, or only a click away the moment the open your page. People will likely miss the important things, if they have to go through three pages to get there. If it is something that it is important that your users see, make sure it is easy to find, and that it doesn’t require any patience, because now days, that is something that many people severely lack.

11. Avoid distracting ads, overactive sliders and flashy effects

Ads can be very distracting, and cause people to turn from reading your content to watching the ads. Some sliders are very annoying because they move before you can read them, and also, the constant movement is very distracting. You want your users to be reading your content, not watching ads, and trying to read overactive sliders.

11 Things About Information Architecture You Should Not Forget

11 Things About Information Architecture You Should Not Forget

Making sure that visitors can find what you want them to find is second only in importance to making sure they can find what they are looking for.

1. Make Sure That Your Call to Action is Clear

Your call to action should be clear so that people will know what they are doing, not look at your call to action and think “what am I doing? Oh well.” and scroll on past, or just pass it by without looking. Your call to action should be an exciting and inspiring action, but not so much that it is confusing. If it is, you are doing the exact opposite.

You want your “Buy Now” button at the top so that anybody who knows exactly what they want, can get it right away without loosing interest before they find how to buy it.

There are also the people who want to know what they are buying before they buy it. You need to also have a “Buy Now” button at the bottom of the page so they can easily buy without having to scroll all the way back to the top.

2. Make Sure Your Headlines are Clear and Appropriate to the Content Below.

No one wants a headline that says “How to make a chocolate cake” and then below they begin telling you about the chairs they are selling. You don’t want to confuse your users. If you want the user to read your post, make the headline match the content. If the headline does not match the content, your user will get confused and leave.

3. Your Menus Should Include Links to Essential Information

The first thing you should always remember to put on your menu is a way to get back to the home page. Make sure your menu has the stuff that’s important on it, like an about page, contact page and anything else that’s important on your website. If you don’t want an about or contact page, that’s fine. Just make sure the important stuff is on the menu.

4. Your Site Should Have a Single Purpose and Everything Working Toward that Purpose

If you research a bit, you will find that many people say that every business should have a website. They’re right, but it is not just about having a website, it’s about having a website the works. Make sure your website has a single purpose, and that everything in your website is moving toward that purpose.

5. Make Sure Your Address, Map, Contact Form, and Phone Number are Easy to Find

If someone is on your website and wants to talk to you, the last thing you want them to do is to give up in frustration and turn to another company with a better website. If they can’t find your address and map, they can’t find you. If they can’t find your contact form or phone number, they can’t talk to you. Their questions will overflow, and they will leave.

6. Make Sure Your Information is Up-To-Date

Let’s say you have a page about all the people who work in your business. If you still have a person who quit two years ago, your website has a serious problem. You also don’t want your latest news that you are talking about to be that World War I just ended! Because that was a long time ago!

7. Make Sure Your Pages Cover One Topic Well

You page should effectively explain one single topic, which may or may not have sub topics. However, you shouldn’t be talking about pricing and providing your contact info on the same page (in general).

8. Make Sure Your Target Audience is Identified and Addressed

It doesn’t matter what you are selling, you need to know who you are selling to. Once you know who you are selling to, you can tell them about your product or service. It is much easier to address one group of people, instead of all groups.

9. Make Sure Your Products and Services are Clearly Identified

To keep people interested in your website and continue reading, you need to tell them what you are selling or what you are doing very quickly and clearly. If your users reply to the question, “what is that website?” And their reply is, “I don’t know.” that is not a good thing. Websites are not supposed to keep you guessing, that is what mystery books are for, so unless your website is supposed to be a mystery book, just tell them what it is about.

10. Make Sure Your Search Bar is Present on all Pages, Easy to Find, and Works

Prospective customers come to your site and want to find the information/products they are looking for in a timely manner. Keep people on your site by providing them a search bar that searches your site only

11. Provide Info About Yourself to Inspire Confidence and Give a Reason to Buy Without Boring Visitors

Tell people why they want to buy your product, and why yours is better than other companies. You can also tell them a little backstory and how hard you worked, to encourage them. But don’t go on and on talking about it forever. You have to tell them about yourself, but don’t tell about what you had for breakfast for the past three weeks. Make your sentences short and interesting.

10 Common Editorial mistakes in websites

10 Common Editorial Mistakes In Websites

Typos, grammatical errors, and readability issues not only impact whether someone decides to buy in the first place, it also has a huge impact on how they interact with your business over the long run, including whether they recommend your business to others. It is embarrassing to recommend a site with grammatical errors to your friend.

1. Typos

Typos are a very common mistake. You can’t help if your fingers slip right? Instead of leaving those, go back through and fix those mistakes. It will really give your website a much more professional look. Now, if you are trying to make a website that looks like a mess, then okay, you can leave the typos.

2. Spelling Errors

If you have a constant struggle with spelling, you might think others don’t care.  There are people who notice the spelling mistakes, and they also make your website look less well-done and professional. So make sure your spelling is correct, and it will improve your website.

3. Wrong Homophone

Just imagine if someone was reading your website, and suddenly they came across a place where you used Isle instead of Aisle… you really don’t want people thinking they are supposed to be going to the eighth island, when you meant the eighth aisle in a store. It can be confusing, and it can also give some people a good laugh. Sometimes it can be confusing and cause a good laugh at the same time… along with them leaving your website.

4. Too wordy 

I am sure you have seen this, where they take a long and elaborate fancy way of saying the smallest little thing, and just continue talking forever and ever. Too wordy basically means that you talk too much and tell everyone every little thing, even things that they could figure out on their own. You don’t have to tell them that, you don’t have to go on and on and on and on forever with unending words. In case you aren’t tired of this and you don’t get the point, I will continue elaborately, continuing to speak beautiful unending long-winded tiring annoying endless words, without stopping and will tire you out by the time you get to the end, provided that you stay that long… do you understand too wordy?  Or shall I continue? I’m sure you are screaming “No”, so let’s move on to the next.

5. To much Jargon

If you use too much Jargon, no one will have any idea what you are saying. Don’t break your CSS, and make sure the JS and PHP are right, and don’t break the search engine trying to change the HTML. Yes, and don’t forget your SSL, CPU, HDD and IP. Also, always remember, HTTPS is better than HTTP. You see, Jargon. You want people to understand what you are saying, and not get lost in jargon. Jargon is floccinaucinihilipilification. You must make sure you are using words everyone knows.

6. Over-simplified or Folksy writing Unless part of your brand

While you don’t want too much jargon or lots of complicated sentences, you don’t want to over-simplify it either. If you shorten everything too much, it will leave people confused and feeling rushed. You need to say what you need to say quickly, but still say it. Also, try not to use U for you or other things like that, unless it is part of your website to do that a lot.

7. Passive voice

Sentences that have a linking verb are often harder to follow because the action is done by the noun that is at the end of the sentence. Examples of a linking verb are: am, appear, are, being, been, become, be, seem, stay, sound, smell, was, were, taste, turn, is, remain, grow, look, and feel. Avoid these. 

8. Easily recognized stock images

Easily recognized stock images

You either want your own original pictures, or maybe a stock image that isn’t easily recognized. If someone looks at your website and sees that you are using a bunch of stock images, they are going to laugh, and maybe even leave. So make sure your pictures are not easily recognized as stock images. 

9. Copied articles

You want your own original content on your website, content that can’t be found anywhere else, that way people will want to come to your website. Also, if you aren’t careful when copying articles you could get in trouble. If you are going to copy articles, make sure you cite it.

10. Lorem Ipsum or default content

Lorem Ipsum or default content

One mistake you want to be sure you don’t make, is to leave the Lorem Ipsum in a post or in the footer. If you do, people will probably be looking at your website or showing it to their friend and having a good laugh over it. Make sure you only have your own content in there and no default content or Lorem Ipsum—It will make your site be more well-done.