Website best practices are constantly changing due to advances in technology. Because of this, it is vital that a successful website meets current standards and protocols. The first step is to get educated about modern website design.
Mobile-Friendly and Responsive Sites Are a Necessity
Mobile-friendly sites aren’t a luxury any longer– they are a necessity. A modern website should work equally well on a smart phone, a tablet, or a desktop. A site that utilizes responsive design will intuitively adjust to provide the best layout for the screen upon which it is being viewed. A responsive website will:
- Work equally well on all screens.
- Increase search engine optimization (which means that it helps move your site towards the top of search results).
- Conserve resources because there is only one site to create and maintain.
Simplified Choices Gain Customers
Visitors to your website need to quickly and easily find the information they seek. With the entire internet at their fingertips, if they can’t find what they’re looking for, they’ll move on to the next site. See a streamlined navigation at http://www.guthriepet.net/.
- Simplify navigation. Approximately 5 main items should be sufficient.
- Utilize the subnavigation to list specifics.
- Limit the “clicks” and don’t use multi-tier subnavigations.
Long-Scroll Pages Get Attention
In the past, it was advised to have all “important” information before the scroll. Because of the prevalence of mobile devices, however, the way we use websites has changed. Mobile devices require users to scroll and we’ve all become accustomed to moving the screen. This has carried over from mobile devices to laptops and desktops. Don’t be afraid of the scroll!
Elements of the site like headers, footers, and navigation bars can now be locked into place so that they are visible at any point on a page. That means that you can have a long page with multiple subjects while the navigation is readily accessible. Check out an example of this at http://www.animalcareunlimited.com/.
Flexible, Unique, and Streamlined Content is Key
Customers visit websites to get clear, straightforward facts. They want topical information without having to sift through the “fluff.” Modern websites are written using content blocks rather than segregating each topic onto a separate page. Content blocks allow content to flow around images and other elements based on screen size.
Since scrolling is now acceptable, this allows multiple content blocks per page, as seen on http://www.sheldenvetcare.com/services/preventive-care.html. The block format then allows the incorporation of an increased number of interactive elements and images. Content can also scroll over background images because of flexible content and modern code.
- Block format (approximately 300 words each).
- Multiple blocks per page.
- Unique custom content- duplicated content is penalized by search engines.
Use Images and Video to Evoke Emotion
Most modern devices have high definition screens, giving a great deal of clarity and allowing the incorporation of emotion-evoking images. Large-scale videos can also be used in conjunction with still photos. Websites should showcase the “best” of your business, especially:
- Healthy pets.
- Happy customers.
- Compassionate, competent professionals.
Boost Your Business Using Blogs and Social Media
Blogs are a must-have on a modern website. They are a fantastic way to communicate timely issues to your customers. If the blog “lives” on your website, meaning it doesn’t link out to another site, Google considers all blog posts as new content. New content is rewarded by increasing your search engine optimization (SEO). Also, loyal blog readers increase visits to your site– a double boost for SEO.
Social Media reaches a large base of potential customers. Your social media should all be linked to your website, and vice versa. Use the recognized logo for each so that they are obvious to your visitors.
The most important thing you can do for your website is educate yourself. To learn more, please check out these free webinars http://www.beyondindigopets.com/events/category/free-webinar/.
Information provided to VMAE from Beyond Indigo Marketing.