Times, They Are A Changin'...
Website Health Check
Hello %%First Name%%
Web design has changed a lot over the years and although I don’t agree in ‘upgrading just for the simple sake of upgrading’, if you do have an older website you may need to be aware of a few things that could be affecting your online business!
Some methods of design have to be changed to work with how potential customers and/or Google now perceive your website.
So here are 3 main areas you may want to check your site for:
Have Your Website Working For You.
1. My old favourite is from years back when Flash animated introduction/splash pages were all the rage. These looked great, grabbed attention and often fun. But back then the business world wasn’t placing as much emphasis on Search Engine results, as this was the pre-Google era. Click here for a Slash page example.
Now we all know, if you aren’t being found in page 1 of Google, you may as well be on page 100. These Flash splash pages generally kill a site’s potential to rank well. You see Google sees Flash as a compressed file, much like an image, so it can’t read any content within it. So if you don’t compensate by having other content, as well as a full menu to your site (non flash), Google practically sees you site as 1 single page, almost blank with just an image/movie embedded.
2. Then there are sites using Flash as the whole Home page. Again we come against the same kind of issue. If the body of the page is animated using Flash, as mentioned above, Google can’t read Flash content, so the body of the page is seen as blank. And if the menu is made with Flash, Google also can not follow your menu and is effectively halted from spidering your whole website to read all your content. Google can only read normal coded text.
Again these kinds of full-flash pages or even complete sites can look great, have lots of cool movement and effects, but they could be very damaging to your business. Being ranked well in Google is crucial and with the dramatic rise in use of smart phones and tablet pc’s, all businesses need to be very aware it can’t be seen and take this into account. (Be aware, many Apple products cannot see Flash (iPhones etc.) unless they install individual apps.)
Flash is great, but use it like you would images or have special Flash pages, which are designed for that, such as demonstration pages, but not as main pages. Allow Google to ‘spider’ you site and read it’s content, from the get-go of the Home page with correctly codes content and navigation.
3. Nephew Ware as I like to call it. No offence, but if you had a mate or your nephew make your web site for you, maybe you should get your site audited by a professional. Or simply ask some people who you really trust to give an honest opinion, ‘does this website look professional’ and ‘is it a good ambassador and true representation of your business and your level of service/products?’.
We all still come across websites that look like they were made with MS Publisher or Word and transferred to the web. Or the site is so obviously a bought template site that you come across thousands of times online with other businesses.
If you are serious to make a good (often first) impression online, and want to make potential customers feel comfortable that they are dealing with a professional company, just make sure you look at your site through your customer's eyes or get a second opinion or an audit. These days the public expects a lot from business online, so don’t be losing business by holding out too long to get a needed new website to suit your business and today’s demands. The web, it’s use, it’s capabilities and user expectations are constantly changing and growing.
If you have any topics you would like me to address in these newsletters, or have further questions on this topic or anything else, please don’t hesitate to contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Limited time: June 30 2012.