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

 

 

 

 

 

The Importance of Mobile Websites for Smartphone & Tablet Users

The Importance of Mobile Websites for Smartphone & Tablet Users

Is your website mobile-friendly?

Did you know that mobile traffic makes up over 55% of global Internet traffic?

Did you know that in the US alone, mobile e-commerce are forecast to reach $12 Billion by the end of this year?

Purchases made on mobile devices amounted to $6.7 billion in the U.S. in 2013 and nearly doubled to $11.6 billion in 2014. And by the end of this year, U.S. mobile sales are forecast to more than double yet again to reach $31 billion.

With these positive statistics, just 21% of business had launched mobile friendly websites in 2011, according to Jesse Haines, group marketing manager for Google Mobile Ads. If you’re still on the fence about whether or not your company should invest in mobile websites, here are the top 3 reasons why you must.

1. Over Half of U.S. Consumer Own a Smartphone

The importance of a mobile website is becoming increasingly important. According to the Pew Research, almost two-thirds of U.S. consumers own a smartphone, up from 58% in 2014. And, roughly 50% of consumers own a tablet or e-reader. To put this into perspective for you, the number of tablet owners has almost quadrupled since October 2011 when only 14% of U.S. consumers had a registered tablet.

A report from the Consumer Electronics Association revealed that 66% of online consumers plan to purchase a tablet in the future, and tablets took the No. 1 gift on the wish list among adults this year. If your company’s website isn’t mobile friendly, shoppers are going to seek out a competitor’s mobile-friendly site instead of switching to a PC to revisit yours. It really is all about accessibility these days.

2. US Advertisers Continue Shift to Online Ads 

Take a look at this chart by Statista.

Infographic: U.S. Advertisers Continue Shift to Online Ads | Statista
You will find more statistics at Statista

According to comScore, mobile e-commerce spending is expected to reach some $11 Billion.

M-commerce (mobile commerce) revenue has seen a significant increase for about 5 years, with no expectations to slow down. After customers view your ad on their smartphone or tablet, they want to be able to view the product. Your website must be ready for this!

3. Dramatic increase in mobile shopping

There has been a dramatic increase in mobile website traffic since 2010. With 60% of all searches done on mobile devices, it’s hard to overlook the opportunity of developing a mobile-friendly site for your business.  M-commerce is not “the next big thing.” It’s already an established trend in online retailing that’s set to change how consumers approach online shopping.

Find more statistics at Statista

So there you have it, mobile websites are essential to e-commerce business growth and growing increasingly popular to non e-commerce sites as well. While developing a mobile site does cost money and time, any investment you make now will pay off multi-fold in years to come.

Does your business have a mobile site? What are your thoughts on this data?

 

 

When a Website is Simply Not Enough!

When a Website is Simply Not Enough!

Unless your organization has significant brand recognition and awareness, just having a nice website is simply not enough. Remember, as of the writing of this article, there are close to 250 million websites on the Internet. Your website is simply one of them – a proverbial needle in the haystack!

It is challenging enough that the expectations of Internet users are constantly increasing and people want much more than they did previously. Technological advances have made the Internet an essential part of life for most people to the point where they rely on it for information, entertainment, research and a whole lot more! They expect fast load times, minimal distractions, user friendliness and attractive designs and more than anything else, they expect unique and meaningful content. And this challenge is augmented by the fact that search engines are continually improving and tweaking their search algorithms to make sure that relevance is maintained for every search conducted – so now you have to satisfy both your website visitors AND the search engines!

Consider the following questions:
1. How do you expect your potential website visitors to find you on the Internet?
2. Once your potential visitors find your website, what do you want them to do?
3. Do you have a plan to engage your visitors and lead them through a decision-making process?

When it comes to the Internet, there is no magical formula for success. In order to gain an edge, you must dot all your “i’s” and cross all your “t’s”.   With that in mind, at the very least, your website should:

-be well designed and architected with focus on ease of use
-have unique and relevant content that engages your website visitors and prospective customers
-be optimized to rank high on search engines using ethical SEO (search engine optimization)
-have properly laid out landing pages with clear call(s) to action that lead visitors to take action
-be constructed such that information is readily found without having to hunt around for it
-be optimized to load quickly without any broken links and missing elements
-make minimal use of distractive technologies and elements (excessive use of flash, for example)
-work properly on all major browsers and have no broken links and missing elements
-use effective technology that enhances the user experience without becoming cumbersome
-be easy to manage, update and keep current without having to rely on designers or developers for assistance

If your website is not generating the results that you expect it to, you need to take a hard look at its overall effectiveness and address the items listed above.

As an Internet marketing company, we can help you rank high on Bing and also on Google and other search engines via our Search Engine Optimization Services.

Introducing Arnima Express

Introducing Arnima Express

We are excited to introduce our Cost-Effective Website Offering via Arnima Express.

Arnima Express was created with a simple and a single goal – to provide cost-effective high-quality and fully-functional websites.

We identified a need in the market and Arnima Express simply fills that need.

Consider a simple situation. You start a business and you immediately realize that one of the first things you require is a website. You look around, you talk to friends, family, associates and you realize that it will not be that simple to find a company that will suit your needs – primarily because your research has uncovered that a custom website can cost anywhere from $2,500 and up!

Don’t be dejected or discouraged if you find that the cost of a website is beyond your initial budget.

Arnima Express websites are fully functional, don’t cost a fortune and allow you to scale up as you grow your business. Our websites are not basic or bare-bones and the following are included in the cost of the website:

  • Home Page + up to 9 internal pages
  • Design customized to your needs
  • Content management framework – we use WordPress
  • Included blog
  • Search engine friendly design
  • Integrated image slider on the home page
  • Social profile integration via social icons
  • Website layout, home page header and color customization
  • Content management training

The following items are available as add-on’s

  • 100% Custom design
  • Additional web pages
  • Content writing & development
  • Website hosting
  • Website maintenance
  • Search engine optimization (SEO)
  • Custom designed social profiles
  • Ongoing social network updates
  • Ongoing blog posts & updates
  • Ongoing content updates
  • Lead & customer management
  • Visitor tracking & analytics

Important: Arnima Express websites are designed to be scalable and can be customized to fit almost all your requirements/

Don’t believe us?

Check out Arnima Express and look at How It Works. And then decide for yourself.

Get Started when you are ready.

11 Questions to ask your Prospective Web Design and Development Company – Part 2

11 Questions to ask your Prospective Web Design and Development Company - Part 2

In Part 1 of this series, we covered the first 5 questions that you should ask your prospective web design company. Now, in Part 2, we cover the remaining 6 questions.

6. Do you have a formal design & development process?
A well-outlined and formal web design & development process will indicate that a company has invested the time and effort into processes which means that they are serious about what they do. It will also allow you to determine their level of expertise. In fact, beware of a company that does not have a formal process in place. Well established companies will also educate you as to your roles and responsibilities and what feedback and input would be required from you during the project.

7. How do you handle changes?
A proper change management process is essential. Let’s face it; at some point in time, your website will need changes or updates. A properly implemented change management mechanism is important as it will ensure that the changes are
(a) properly reported
(b) actually implemented
(c) reported back to you and
(d) tested to make sure all works well.

You will also need to find out what types of maintenance options are provided and what the associated charges are.

8. What types of technologies do you work with?
The answer to this question is critical. Given the ever-evolving nature of technology, companies must make the effort to keep up with the times. A good web design & development company will be able to work in ASP.NET, ASP, PHP, AJAX and various scripting languages such as JavaScript and VBScript. They should also have significant expertise in database technologies such as Microsoft SQL Server, mySQL, Oracle, Microsoft Access. In terms of design tools, look for names such as Adobe, Microsoft and other recognizable companies that put out serious design & development tools

9.  Do you provide website hosting services?
Get a clear answer. If a company provides in-house hosting, at the very least, make sure that they are not hosting your mission critical website on a server in their basement, or in their office. If they outsource, make sure that you know what SLAs (Service Level Agreements) are in place and where the hosting company is located.

10. Who owns the website code after work is completed?
If you are spending several thousands of dollars on your website, there is only one acceptable answer. You as the client will own the website, the code, media and all content.  If your website uses components such as a content management system, or a shopping cart system, be sure to find out about the licensing and ownership.

11. How do you charge?
There are 2 ways for a web design & development company. They can charge you for time, i.e. by the hour, day, week or month. Or they can charge you a fixed amount for your project. Bear in mind that in order to establish a fixed cost, the requirements and specifications have to be very clearly laid out. In fact, most web projects can be estimated fairly accurately if a given company has the experience in the industry. If a company is unwilling to give you a fixed cost for a project, it is advisable to be careful…time-based billing can get ridiculously expensive.