9 Important Elements of a High Quality Website

Here is a visual look at the 9 important elements of a high quality website (extract appears below).

 

Your website is your main identity on the Internet.

High Quality Website

As you design (or redesign) your website, pay particular attention to the following items:

Extract from the Infographic:

  1. Quality Content
    1. Don’t scrimp when it comes to content. Quality content is one of the most important elements of your website or blog. So make sure your content is stellar!
    2. Good content is meaningful, relevant and useful for your users, educates them and invites sharing and leads to discussions.
    3. Search Engines can differentiate between content written for humans and search engines so make sure you write for users and not for search engines.
  2. Typos & Grammar
    1. Typos and poor grammar are known to turn off visitors to your website so check your writing thoroughly before publishing content.
    2. Use tools such as spell checkers and grammar checkers and make sure your content has no spelling errors or grammatical errors.
    3. Search Engines are smart enough to detect spelling and grammar mistakes and are known to penalize websites with such mistakes.
  3. Readability & Formatting
    1. Visitors to your website or blog will be turned away by poor readability or improperly formatted content so follow properly guidelines for both.
    2. Keep your material succinct and clear. Use short sentences to make your points. Use text formatting to highlight essential information and make your material easy to read.
    3. We tend to scan content rather than read so format your content properly. Use lists, bullet points, and white space to lay out your material so it is easy to scan and read.
  4. Visual Elements
    1. A picture is still worth a thousand words! And we say that if a picture is worth a thousand words then a video must be worth a hundred thousand words!
    2. Articles & web pages with images & other visual elements lead to higher engagement & social sharing.
    3. Websites with more visual elements rank higher – web pages with more than 5 images tend to get a rank boost.
  5. Ease of Navigation
    1. Make sure your website is easy to navigate. Use a simple but effective menu structure that is easy to use and work with.
    2. Website visitors should be able to find what they are looking for without having to hunt around or click multiple times.
    3. Websites that have overly complex menu structures or unclear internal linking will turn visitors away pretty quickly.
  6. Link Structure
    1. Pay special attention to your internal and external links. In fact, 90% of the sites that rank in the top 3 positions use at least one internal self-referencing link.
    2. Maintain link relevance at all times. Search engines have become so sophisticated that they can detect non-relevant links and these can lead to penalties!
    3. Don’t be afraid of linking to relevant external content. In fact, such links are considered very valuable by your readers and help you build more engagement.
  7. Social Sharing
    1. Search Engines use social sharing as a ranking signal. A higher number of shares can lead to a higher placement on search results.
    2. Make sure your web pages, blog & articles have clearly visible social media icons that allow people to share your material at a click.
    3. Good quality content tends to be shared more, shared often and shared more frequently.
  8. Mobile Friendliness
    1. Mobile Internet users have overtaken desktop (or traditional) Internet users so you need to ensure that your website is 100% mobile device friendly.
    2. Users don’t like cut-off or shrunk down websites on a small screen where they have to zoom-in and zoom-out and scroll around excessively.
    3. In fact, in April 2015, Google announced that they will lower the rank of any websites that are not mobile device friendly.
  9. Loading Speed
    1. It used to be said that “patience is a virtue” but that no longer holds true! Today’s website visitors have little patience for slow performing websites as do search engines!
    2. Check your website using commonly available tools such as Google’s Pagespeed Insights, Yahoo’s Y!Slow, Pingdom and other tools to see how fast it loads.
    3. Optimize your website so it performs well. Fast loading websites can get a search rank boost and poorly performing websites can get dinged, especially by Google.

Sources
www.forbes.com
www.fastcompany.com
www.moz.com
www.searchengineland.com
www.youtube.com
www.arnimadesign.com
www.positionly.com
www.grammarly.com
http://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/
www.pingdom.com
www.yslow.org
www.kissmetrics.com
http://blog.google.com

 

 

 

 

 

Effects of Typos & Spelling Mistakes: How Poorly Written Content Affects Your Website

Typos & Spelling Mistakes – How Poorly Written Content affects your Website

At its core, the Internet relies significantly on the written word and that is something that we should never forget. There is a tremendous amount of content posted on the Internet. Of this, the bulk is written content; and the remainder is comprised of videos and pictures and other types of material.

When people want to learn something or find a product, a service, entertainment, news or almost anything on the Internet, they will search for what they are looking for by using search engines such as Google, Bing, Yahoo! and others. Now, written content is one of the primary ways in which search engines categorize websites. If your website has typographical errors and bad grammar, then it is very likely that you are not going to get the Internet traffic that you are looking for.

Search engines have some flexibility when it comes to determining the differences between misspelled words and properly spelled words. But when you rely on a search engine algorithm to compensate for your bad spelling, you are asking for trouble.

Effects of Typos & Spelling Mistakes: How Poorly Written Content Affects Your Website

For example, if your pastry business wants to advertise bear claws for sale and you continually spell it “bare claws”, don’t be surprised if Google penalizes the rank of your website. Common misspellings such as “teh” instead of “the” may also cause the search engines to ding your website, resulting in less web traffic than you would like.

A website with typos, misspelled words and bad grammar turns people off and prevents them from coming back. One of the more important aspects of owning a website is to generate repeat traffic for new content. If visitors cannot use your content because it is poorly written, then it will not matter how often you update your website – they will not want to come back!

Your professionalism and credibility can also be called into question when you allow typos, spelling errors and grammar on your website. People will not take you seriously if it appears that you do not care enough to present your information in a professional manner. Remember, just because your website is not selling books does not mean that people will tolerate poor content!

If you want people to consider you as an expert in your field and utilize your website as a resource, then you need to be concerned with presenting a proper & professional image. A large part of that professional image is making sure your content is free from spelling and grammatical errors. Invest in a spell-checker and, if needed, hire a proofreader to make sure that your content is always reliable and professional.

What has been your experience, when it comes to poor content quality?

Write for Humans and Not for Search Engines

Write for Humans and Not for Search Engines

Why It Is Important To Focus On Your Human Visitors and Not Search Engine Bots?

In the very early days of the Internet, the content industry was quite a bit like the Wild West. At that time, specific rules had not been established and the people who could sling out the most keywords in their content were getting the bulk of the Internet visitor traffic.

Website owners who were trying to create usable resources on the Internet started to get frustrated because the search engines were falling prey to keyword stuffing and were sending traffic to content mills and similar websites instead of legitimate experts.

In response to the outcries, along with many other search engine algorithm updates, Google released the Panda Update update. This update helped to weed out websites that were using keyword stuffing to drive traffic and helped legitimate websites to drive more visitors and thereby increase revenue.

In 2012, Google released a follow-up to Panda called the Penguin update. As effective as Panda was at pushing traffic to the proper websites, one of the main reasons for the Penguin update was to weed out websites were still utilizing keyword placement in lieu of good content.

The Penguin update has placed a strong emphasis on creating useful and relevant content as opposed to trying to attract search bots with lots and lots of keywords. The Penguin update has also started to severely punish websites that cut and paste content from other websites instead of generating their own content. It is imperative to never copy and create duplicate content!

The Penguin update puts the focus squarely on the most important visitor to your website: the human visitor and not on the search engine bots. The Penguin algorithm update is an important reason to start gearing your content more towards human readers rather than bots.

But another good reason for altering your content is because people want to read content that is useful to them and content that is written in good English. Content that is based on keywords tends to be difficult to read and often offers no value to the reader at all. But when the content is written to be informative and helpful, then that will help to keep existing traffic and attract new traffic as well.

Internet search engines are evolving on a day-by-day basis. But it has become obvious that the underlying theme to the new changes is the need for better content and content that is written in a manner that makes sense to human readers.

If you want to get your website to show up higher in the new Google search results pages, then you need to provide content that is valuable and useful to human readers. If you want to retain your current traffic and entice new traffic to visit your site, then you will need your content to be easy to read and useful to all of your human readers.

Have you been a victim of the Panda update or the Penguin Update?

The Seven Basic Rules of Effective Blogging

The Seven Basic Rules of Effective Blogging

Blogs are a great way for people to get information from the Internet.

Some of the most reputable and popular sites on the Internet are, in actuality, just blogs and such websites can generate a lot of traffic if managed properly. When you decide to start a blog, there are seven basic and important rules you need to follow that will help you to be successful and generate good traffic as your blog gains popularity over time

Blog posts can be of the following type:

-Informative (about a product, service, company, tradeshow etc)
-Educational (how something works etc)
-Introductory (introducing a new product or part or attachment)
-Entertaining (a story, an anecdote or narration of something interesting or funny)
-Promotional (introducing a special offer or promotion)
-Instructional (how to etc)

Blog posts should have genuine, human-targeted content with relevant keywords – it would be best to take a topic of narrow focus (generally with emphasis on 2 keywords) and discuss that. Be sure that each keyword appears 2-3 times in the blog; the longer the post, the more you should use the keyword but remember to not over-do the keywords.

Choose One Topic

The first rule of blogging is to pick one specific topic per blog and write everything there is to write on that topic. It is best to pick a topic that you have a passion for so that you can find the motivation to write the content you will need to write. When you choose a single theme for a blog, you also make it easier for your content to be seen on search engine results.

Add Content Regularly

If you want a successful blog, then you need to add new content regularly. This does not mean that you necessarily need to write new content every day, rather, at an established frequency. You can write all of your content for one week or for a month, or even longer, save it and then post it throughout the week or setup your blog to automatically publish such content on a periodic basis. However you do it, you need to make certain that you have some kind of new content added regularly.

Tag Your Content

When you add new content, always be sure to put the proper tags on your content and put it into its proper category. That is important in making sure that your content shows up on the search engines under the appropriate search criteria.

Use Guest Writers or Authors

If you can get guest content from well-known writers that is original and not reprinted from other websites, then use that as well. It will add to the authority and credibility of your blog.

Maintain a Schedule

You need to create and maintain a consistent schedule for your content in order to gain and keep an audience. For example, if you blog about flower, then your blog should have a new, relevant, unique and meaningful article about flowers or related subjects on a regular basis. Try your best not to vary your schedule unless you absolutely cannot help it.

Have a Voice

Your readers will often come back to read your content because they either agree or disagree with your point of view. When you create your content, you need to have an opinion and a voice that gives readers something to think about. As a suggestion, end eacb blog post with a meaningful question to give your readers something to ponder over.

Make it Interactive

In every article, you need to invite comments from readers and get involved in those conversations. The more accessible you make yourself through your blog, the more people will be interested in what you have to say.

Apart from that be creative and have fun with the blog – it is a great way to engage with your audience. Remember, a blog takes several months, and sometimes years to gain traction and it is easy to get discouraged but the key is to never give up.

What has your experience been when it comes to blogging?