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10 Things Your Business Needs To Dominate Google

by interdream

Is your website optimized for GoogleMost business owners want more visibility on the web. Dominating the first page of Google requires an understanding of what Google is looking for and how to take advantage. Below is a checklist of 10 things you can do to increase your search engine rankings.

1. Is your website optimized for Google?

Find out which keywords you would like to be ranked for in Google. Search for these keywords in Google and look at the top 10 rankings. The blue text above each search position is called the “Title Tag”. Count the number of top 10 positions that have your keyword in their title tags.

Check your website now. Do you have your keywords in the title tag? The title tag is regarded as one of the most important in Google’s on-page SEO factors. Read about heading tags, meta tags and keyword density for more help.

2. Does your website load quickly?

Google likes sites that load quickly. Slow websites have a significant impact on your search results. Check your load speed here:
https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights

3. Is your website mobile friendly?

Google wants sites to pass their mobile-friendly test thereby providing a better overall experience for their search engine users. Go to
https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/.

Test your website at this URL to find out if your site is mobile friendly.

4. Do you have Google+, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn & YouTube pages setup?

Google favours websites that are in these top social networking sites for two reasons:

1. A business that takes the time to set up their profiles on these sites appears to be more brand aware and Google loves brands.

2. These social media sites will send traffic to your website as Google looks at referral traffic to determine rankings.

3. Another benefit of being on these social sites is that your customers are more likely to share your business with their friends.

5. Is your website listed in the top 100 local business directories like Yelp?

Google prefers sites that have a listing in the top local business directories for two reasons:

1. A business that takes the time to create a listing appears to Google as a business that will be around for a long time.

2. These local business directories will send traffic to your site. Referral traffic is one of the factors Google uses to determine rankings.

6. Do you have an “About Us” page?

A page that introduces your business properly will build rapport and hopefully will convert your visitors into customers. You have only a few seconds to convince your visitors and turn them from just browsing into someone that wants to use your services.

7. Can visitors find your contact information quickly?

Make sure you have a Contact us page with your company name, address, telephone number and a contact form.

8. Do you have testimonials on your website?

Think back to the last time you picked up a book, or researched the next television you wanted to buy. Where did your search start? It probably began with looking at reviews.

Having testimonials on your website will improve your chances of making a sale as people like to read what others have to say about your business.

Remember, there is an advantage to having visitors on your site as time spent on your site is a ranking factor in Google.

9. Do you have a video on your website?

Visitors love to watch videos on websites. A video on your website will keep your visitors on your pages longer. Google tracks the time people spend on your page to find out how good your website is compared to others. Having a video about your services or a welcome message from the owner of the business will prevent visitors from leaving quickly

10. Do other sites link to your website?

This is an important ranking factor. Having another website link to yours is like getting a vote. Make sure you get high quality links to your website. Use http://ahrefs.com to check sites linking to your site. Find out how many incoming links you have. Check out your competitors’ link profiles and find out which sites are linking to them. Build links on the same types of sites they have links from.

To recap….

Your business needs a website that:

1. Is optimized for Google

2. Loads quickly

3. Is mobile friendly

4. Is in the top social media sites

5. Is listed in the top local directories

6. Has an About page

7. Has clear contact information

8. Has testimonials

9. Has a video

10. Has great backlinks

Need assistance?

If you noticed that your website hasn’t passed, don’t worry. InterDream Designs can help you fix any or all of these site issues.
If you would like our assistance, contact us at [email protected]

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Top 7 Tips for a Successful Website

by interdream

Top 7 Tips for a Successful Website

Whether your website is a small mom and pop store or a large corporation, good web design skills are an absolute must if you want to reach your target market. When creating your website, you need to remember that your site has to compete with a lot of websites that are on the Internet today. The best websites on the net are those that are easily understood, have engaging content and are easy to navigate.

Here are some tips to help you design your web pages with your visitors’ needs in mind.

 

1. Colour and Contrast

The colours should be pleasing and the same colour scheme should be used throughout the site. Don’t use a dark coloured font against a dark background as it will be difficult to read, same with light font on a light background. There should be a good contrast between the background and the font colour. You want them to read what’s on your site don’t you?

 

2. Navigation

Internet surfers have become quite used to seeing things in a particular way. Ensure that your site navigation is easy to recognize and familiar to use. Menus or navigation bars should be in the same place on every pages. Remember the 3 click rule. Visitors should never be more than 3 clicks away from the information they’re looking for.

 

3. White Space

White space is important for web design because it improves readability and focus.  It is also referred to as ‘negative’ space. Keeping your site simple with white space will give your page breathing space instead of cramming it with content. Google uses white space effectively on it’s page. The only content on the page is the search section surrounded with white space on all sides so the focus is only on the search.

 

4. Content

People are in a hurry. They rarely read, they scan pages. Use attractive, easy to read fonts and simple language. Use short paragraphs, headers and bullets. When writing content, keep your tone friendly and conversational and your sentences short. People go to the internet to get information. If you can provide useful information on your site that is updated regularly, your visitors will keep coming back to your site!

 

5. Faster Loading Pages

Have you ever gone to a site and waited and waited and waited for the page to load? Make your web pages load faster by minimizing the number of graphics you use and by optimizing images. Another reason you need to have pages that load quickly is because Google has identified page speed as a search ranking factor. GTmetrix is great tool to test your website loading speed.

 

6. Search Engine Optimization

If you’re like most businesses who want to be found online in the search engine results, you will need to optimize your website for search engines.Before you start writing content for your site, you must first decide what keywords or phrases visitors are using for your niche. Once you have picked your keywords or phrases, add them in the content. Google Keyword Planner is a popular keyword tool to choose keywords.

 

7. Call to Action

Having a call to action (CTA) will encourage your visitors to take action. Asking visitors to buy something, request a quote or subscribe to your newsletter are examples of call to action. They are usually placed above the ‘fold’ (viewable area). For longer pages, it can be added at the bottom of the page too.

 

Summary

The page look and structure play an important role along with other elements in helping users find what they want quickly  and easily. It improves the user experience and provides your users with content they can read and take action on.

 

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6 Critical Factors When Designing a Website

by interdream

6 critical factors for web page designHave you noticed how some websites are a traffic magnet attracting visitors while others are just chugging along? The reason is owners of the successful websites have marketed their sites while the others haven’t.

If any business needs to survive in the online market, they need a dynamic web presence. The following 6 factors should be considered when building a website:

1. Goals and objectives:

Most clients who have no idea why they want a website, until you ask them why. They are created because everyone has a website so they have one too.

Defining goals and objectives is the key to great website design. If you don’t have a pre-determined goal, then you’re wasting your time. Having no goals and  objectives is like walking in the middle of the desert with no clear direction. For example, your website goal could be increasing sales, building communities, non-profit or educational. Yahoo is community based, Amazon’s website purpose is to increase sales. Goals must be measurable and realistic. For example, if you get 5000 visitors per month and aim at converting 2% of these visitors into clients, then your website objective should be 100 prospects per month.

2. Target audience:

Having a target audience should be part of your online marketing strategy. Your site should be solving a problem and aimed at a specific target audience. Do you have a target audience? Don’t make your target audience the entire population of the world. It should be your niche market. If you’ve got a product that says “for coaches and trainers”, guess what. You’ll get the attention of coaches and trainers because you will be directly addressing their needs.

Knowing where you’re going is important. But, knowing who you’re going after is also important!

3. Copy and content:

Good copy persuades your visitors to read your text and take action. Your headline is the most important element in your copy. If you have a terrible headline, your visitors will not want to read the rest of the copy. A good headline will arouse the curiosity of casual browsers and make them want to read more.

Having fresh content that is updated often will keep search engines and visitors coming back to your site. If you want the ability to update and change information yourself, consider having a content management system like WordPress installed.

4. Web Design:

Once you have defined your goals and objectives, developed your website marketing strategy and then written your copy, you are ready to begin working on the design of your website. This information should be passed on to your designer who can develop a site map on how all the pages will be linked to each other. It shouldn’t take more than three clicks to go to another page of the site.

5. Website Promotion:

How can you get more visitors to your website? Some popular website promotion techniques are SEO, pay per click advertising, building inbound links, eNewsletters, blogs, forums, press releases and submitting articles. Read more about how to promote your Website.

6. Measurement:

Once your site is optimized and promoted, check your website statistics to improve website conversion, copy, content etc. Are you converting visitors into prospects? It doesn’t matter how many people land on your website, but more importantly, how many of them actually take action, like for example, contact you. Keep tweaking your web pages and measure your response. Are those tweaks to your web pages, increasing your conversion rate? If it improves, keep the pages. Keep improving your copy and experiment with it until you’ve achieved your objectives.

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How to Use the Right Keywords on your Website

by interdream

Using the correct keywords on your site
Keywords are the heart of any search engine optimization strategy. Proper selection and placement of keywords on your Web site will determine how your site is ranked. And if your site is ranked high, it will generate a lot of free traffic.

The keywords on your site need to match the keywords your visitors are searching. For example, if a visitor is looking for “search engine optimization” and they type in the same keyphrase ,” then your website has a better  chance of showing up in the search engine’s results pages – of course, the same keyword must be on your web page and you should properly optimize your page for this keyphrase.

Keywords vs. Keyphrases

Searchers generally use 3-4 keywords rather than just one keyword. Therefore, you should focus on finding keyphrases rather than an individual keyword. Some keywords are also more competitive than others. For example, if you choose the keyword “website”, it’s a very competitive and general term. However, if you choose something specific like “Toronto website design“, then it is easier to get ranked for this keyword phrase rather than the keyword “website” only.

The Magic of Keywords

The word keyword is used so often nowadays – it’s like a magic pill to get you high rankings. But, there’s more to it than just stuffing your site with random words. And of course, besides keywords, there are other factors in determining search engine rankings.

As a general rule, don’t use more than 3 keyphrases per page. As an example, for a real estate site, you could use:
– realtors + location
– sell homes
– buy homes
You would use these 3 keyphrases on one page. Each page on your website would then have 3 different keyphrases targeted for each web page.

How do you choose the right keywords?

If you ask a business owner this question “If you were looking for a business like yours on the web, what keywords would you look for? they generally answer with the name of their product which usually only a few people know about. But, how would someone who doesn’t know about your product search for you (unless it’s a well-known brand)? Think about what words, users would want to search to find your product or service and then make a list of these keywords.

Keyword research reports are one of the best ways to get this type of information as they are detailed. A typical report will list:
– keywords specific to your product or services
– number of searches for each keyword according to search engines
– the number of times each keyword has been searched by visitors
– what your keyword will cost if you use pay-per-click ads.

There are several excellent keyword tools, one of the most popular being Google Keyword Planner. This tool is handy to find out what keywords people are searching for. Use this tool to brainstorm a list of keywords for your site and then use the most relevant ones with a decent number of searches. You might discover keyword combinations that you never thought of before.

Where should you use keywords on your page?

The most important places you should use your keywords are:

1. Title Tag

Title tag is the text that is displayed at the top of the Web browser. Every page on your site should contain a unique title tag with your primary keyphrase for your web page. Your title tag should ideally contain no more than 60 characters.

2. Meta Description Tag

Meta description tags are html tags that describe the page. These are used in the html code of the page. They are important in deciding the relevancy of the page for keywords.

Search engines look for the the meta description tag. The meta description tag is a description of the page contents. The text you use in the description tag will appear on your listing in the search results. It should entice people to click on your link to go to your site.

3. Content

Your targeted keywords should be used in the page content at least once. LSI keywords (related to your keyword) should be used in the headings, image alt tags (text displayed when you mouse over a picture) and anchor text.

Summary:
1. Pick the right keywords
2. Use no more than 3 keywords per page
3. Use these in the title tag. Use keyword variations in the meta description tag, headings, image alt tags and anchor text on your web page

– Nina Menezes

 

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What Women Want In A Website

by interdream

Tradition suggests that men tend to be hunters while women tend to be nurturers and this tradition has more to do with Websites than you might think.

What women want vs. what men want

Women and WebsitesIn many ways Websites geared towards men and women mirror their print magazine counterparts. Many men’s magazines focus on cars, technology and gadgets while women’s magazines focus on beauty, relationships and nature.

In the online world appealing to women’s interests and wants is much different than a man’s. When creating a Web site that targets women, you should keep in mind that most women are looking for more than just information. They’re looking for the person behind the Web site.

Women want to know who the person is and if they can be trusted, while men are more concerned with the nuts and bolts of the site and what they can get out of it.

Give ‘em someone they can trust

When you target women, give them your core message up front. Tell them what your business or service is about and how it can benefit them. Personal testimonials are important because they show you as being a real person who is trustworthy and has their best interests in mind.

If your target market is primarily women, you would do well to set up your site more like a community than a fact sheet. Creating a forum is one way to develop community as is adding comments from women who have used your site and found it to be worthwhile.

Quick information is best

Men are also happy pouring over large amounts of data. However, women prefer information to be to the point rather than long winded. It’s not that women can’t interpret large chunks of information, rather they respond better to quick and timely content. In addition, many women are juggling family and careers so their time to scan tons of information is limited.

Another important point to remember is that women do not like being sold to. Don’t use information simply as a tool to get them to buy something. That’s the easiest way to abuse the trust they put in you and your products and services.

A sale should be a natural reaction inspired by good, honest content.

Unless you’re dealing with women in a specific field of technology, it’s best to avoid technical jargon. Your content needs to be clear and simple with easy to understand language.

Why is credibility so important?

As mentioned earlier testimonials, are great. Women really value credible information and resources that can be backed up. Don’t just try to sell them your product or service, let them know how it can make their life easier and show them examples that include others just like them who are satisfied.

Marketing specifically to women is easy if you follow some simple advice. Honesty is the best policy. If you’re genuinely interested in making their lives better, let that show through in your content and you’ll do just fine.

 

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Top 3 Issues Affecting Your Website And How To Deal With Them

by interdream

Top 3 Website IssuesHaving an attractive platform for connecting with customers and prospective customers is no longer enough. Business owners also have to strive for overall site fitness. This is vital for keeping bounce rates low, attracting a steady stream a visitors and ensuring an optimal user experience. Following are 3 website issues that are currently having an impact on how people see your business and how likely they are to stay on your pages.

1. Page Speed

Are your pages slow to load? If they are, then you probably have a very high bounce rate. This is the rate at which site visitors are bouncing right back to search engine results in order to find faster loading sites or more relevant information. It can have a significant impact on your search engine ranking and it can also diminish your online reputation. No one wants to waste their time waiting for slow loading pages when they can easily head over to other platforms that load in under four seconds.

The best way to fix this problem or to avoid it entirely is by choosing the right hosting company and the best hosting plan for your site needs. If you have a consistently high volume of web traffic and find that this is starting to impact page loading speeds, now is the time to consider the benefits of upgrading to a dedicated server, rather than paying less for shared hosting services. If you’ve already invested in a high-end hosting package and aren’t sharing your server with a number of other companies, consider switching to a larger and more efficient provider that has turbo servers, ultra-rapid loading speeds, multi-redundant networks and other features for ensured reliability and speed.

2. Broken Links

Did you know that a bad link profile can prevent you from ever getting a first page rank? In fact, broken links can lead to painful penalties at the hands of major search engines that drive your site further down the search results page. When people click broken links and don’t find the pages that their looking for, this also reflects poorly on your business. Most web users will simply seek out sites with better levels of overall fitness so that they can find what they need without a lot of extra work or hassle. Connect with a reputable web management or SEO Company in order to get your link profile cleaned up.

3. Trouble Finding Information

Put yourself in the customer’s shoes and then take a tour of your own web pages. Is your site layout intuitive? Does everything appear to be where it should? If your site layout is difficult to navigate or unnecessarily complex, this will cause people to leave. Web users are fickle, impatient and always expecting fast answers. Why would they work hard to search for information on your site when they can easily find it on others? There are a number of website issues that will likely require the assistance of an IT or web design expert to fix. Low-value, low-quality or poorly organized information, however, is something that you can have a hand in resolving yourself. Check out the websites of a few popular competitors and see how their info resources are organized. You can then use these same strategies to make your own pages more user-friendly and far easier to navigate.

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Website Audit – What should you look out for?

by interdream

 

Website Audit ChecklistWebsite auditing is a great way to keep your website healthy. Just as you schedule regular check-ups at the doctor’s and dentist’s clinic, you also need to bear in mind that your website needs a periodic check-up too. There may be some problems which you might not even be aware of, which you will notice during an audit. With a website review you will also be able to make sure that the site is truly as SEO friendly as possible.

What are some of the main things you should check while carrying out your website analysis?

Check broken links

Broken links are unfortunately quite common, and they will be more so if you do not audit your site. You can use Screaming Frog (an SEO tool) for this exercise. This is a small and convenient program that will bring out key on-site elements, including broken links. By simply using Screaming Frog for your website, you will be able to check the integrity of the various links. If there is a link that points to a page that does not exist you will be made aware of it and then you can either edit it or remove it.

Check for error messages in Google webmaster tools

If your site is linked to a Google Webmaster Tools account you will be able to generate a Crawl Errors report and fix any problems indicated in it.

Check Sitemap

Since your sitemap essentially lists all of your site’s pages you need to make sure that it is well-formed and complete. Visitors will know at a glance all the pages that are included in your site. Search engines will also have a snapshot of your web pages and which pages on your site are updated.

Duplicate Content

Duplicate content is something that you need to avoid. Otherwise your site ranking will suffer. You can check for duplicate content in Copyscape. Any content that comes up as being duplicate should be fixed. If you copied content from another site make sure to remove it immediately. If on the other hand, someone copied from your site, it is best to report to Google. For improved SEO there is nothing better than fresh and original content.

Optimized 404 pages

Ideally you won’t have your site visitors clicking on a link and ending up on a 404 page. But if there are any 404 pages coming up, you can at least optimize them rather than just redirecting to the home page.

URL Canonicalization

When there are multiple URLs for one page, you should try to pick the best URL and avoid having more than one pointing to the same page. Read more about URL canonicalization.

Page Load Times

Nobody likes to wait ages for a site to load. So during a website audit you should surely check the page load times. You can do this with Pingdom. If there are slow response times, there could be different problems, such as a broken script or a broken plugin. Fix these, and if the response time is still slow, you may need to consider changing the server architecture or the web hosting.

Proper redirects

You need to ensure that redirects are properly implemented, especially if you have recently changed your site architecture or the URL structure.

Schema.org Implementation

the schema markup is a new form of optimization. If you implement it properly you will notice a significant boost in your site’s SERPs. This is one of the best forms of SEO analysis you can implement.

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Are you the owner of an invisible business?

by interdream

Are you the owner of an invisible businessThere is no denying that the internet has taken over our lives in all sorts of ways. From the possibility to buy goods and services online and have them delivered to your home, to making payments online and corresponding more easily, most people would not be able to imagine living normally without accessing the internet every day, and often, more than once. Based on this fact it is practically unthinkable for a business operating in this day and age not to have an online presence. No matter how small the business is, it is imperative to have a website nowadays. A business that does not have a website online will end up:

1. Showing a lack of credibility

2. Demonstrate that it does not care about its brand image

3. Lose the possibility to sell to thousands of people all over the world.

4. End up uncompetitive and eventually it will run out of business.

Unfortunately, some business owners still fail to appreciate the importance of having a website. According to a survey carried out recently by Yodle, there is a staggering 52% of small businesses that do not have a website. These business owners are essentially putting their business at a big disadvantage, and unless they decide to invest in a business website, they are likely to end up running out of business in a few years!

If you are one of these business owners, let us put it more simply – you have two options to get online:

1. You can either design a website yourself. Many business owners who choose this option though have some time to dedicate to this project, as well as a basic idea of how to go about it.

2. Or else if you do not know how to do that you can just hire someone to do it for you. There are many service providers in this line of business nowadays. They specialize in business website design as well as internet marketing.

If you want to save money, or are worrying about the costs involved to hire a web designer, don’t worry. You do not have to be a computer specialist to design a simple website for your firm. There are lots of tools that can help you do it yourself. However, you do need to have some time to devote to this task, along with the inclination to do it. Having said that, hiring a web designer is not going to cost you a fortune either. There are many experienced web designers who will be able to offer you effective and good website designs at a relatively low cost. In fact, you will be amazed at how cheap it is in reality.

Whichever option you choose, the truth is that you have to do it. Either way, you need a website for your firm. Procrastinating or simply deciding that you do not have the time, inclination or money for it, is definitely not an option.

Try the Google Test

We suggest you try this out! This is a simple thing that we recommend that you do. Just type in your business name in Google and see what happens. The results that come up (if any) will offer you an idea of what prospective customers will find if they were to look up your business online. Chances are that there are a couple of results, but nothing valuable or helpful. What do you think will customers think when they are faced with this? Surely, they will say that your business does not seem to be credible or trustworthy as it is practically invisible. Then, they will simply look up another firm in your line of business to satisfy their needs. So simply by doing this basic Google experiment you will be able to learn a lot.

According to Yodel’s survey, only about 12% of small businesses made use of online advertising. Probably you fall in this category too. So what should you do?

1. Create a website and/or a Blog.

2. Make sure your homepage is interesting and well laid out, making it enticing for customers who land on it.

3. Create a convincing ‘About Us’ page as this is the most frequently visited page, after the homepage. Include any significant stuff about your firm that can help you make a good impact on customers and make them feel that your business is trustworthy.

4. Distinguish yourself by having a good brand name and design. Remember that there are hundreds or thousands of businesses similar to yours, and so you need to be distinctive.

5. Install social media sharing buttons so as to encourage users to share content, including information about your business or products/services.

6. Encourage visitors to subscribe. A mailing list or a regular newsletter could be really effective. An opt-in form should be made available in prominent areas of your website.

7. Your site needs to be interesting and engaging in every possible way. Do not stop on the promotional aspect only. Rather, come up with innovative ways to offer valuable content to visitors. The content should be interesting and easy to read. Put yourself in the mind frame of the customer so as to create content that they are likely to find helpful in their daily lives, and that they will be willing to share. How-to guides, regular blog posts, ebooks and videos are some of the most common methods you can use.

8. SEO friendliness is of utmost importance. Besides valuable content, you should also make sure that it is rich in keywords and phrases so as to have search engines rank your website or blog highly.

9. The best website designs enable visitors to find what they are looking for really quickly and easily.

10. Mobile friendliness is a must nowadays. Bear in mind that many prospective customers may look up your site using a tablet or smartphone. So your site needs to be mobile friendly.

11. Take action right away! Every day that goes by you are losing on customers and potential sales. So what are you waiting for?

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Is Your Website Mobile-Friendly? If Not, You Are In Serious Trouble!

by interdream

 

Is your website design responsive?
There is no denying that most businesses would not imagine their operations nowadays without having an online presence. Having a website has become a must over the past years. However, with the ever increasing use of mobile devices, it has also become imperative for a website to be mobile- friendly. If your website is not mobile-friendly it is running a risk, and your business is going to take a serious blow too.

As from the 21st of April 2015, Google expanded its use of mobile friendliness as a key ranking signal. This change is going to affect mobile searches carried out in all languages and it has a significant impact on the search results. This is one of the biggest ranking updates that has ever been introduced by Google. As a result of this change, a user will find it easier to get relevant search results which are optimized for mobile devices.

But, even though mobile users are set to benefit from this change, it is also going to be the downfall of many websites. In fact, some 90% of websites are going to be in trouble since search rankings are going to suffer dramatically following this change. Therefore it has become critical for website owners to save their Google rankings as soon as possible.

But why has Google introduced this change?

The main reason why Google has made this change is because statistics show clearly that mobile internet is becoming increasingly popular. It is in fact practically taking over traditional desktop use for most activities. As a result of this exponential growth in mobile usage, Google has had to change the way it ranks and how it displays websites.

Since this update is going to affect negatively any websites that are not mobile-friendly, it goes without saying that something needs to be done, and fast! If you are one of those who has a website that is not mobile-friendly, you need to take this really seriously. You have to make it a priority to make your website mobile-friendly as soon as possible, because with every day that goes by, competitors will have outranked you. This will ultimately lead to potential customers to buy products or services from your competitors instead of from you.

What is a mobile-friendly website all about?

The term mobile friendliness is becoming increasingly popular, but are you aware what it really means? Simply put, a mobile-friendly site is one that can be easily accessible and properly viewed on a mobile device, such as a smartphone or a tablet. When your website was designed, it was created to be viewed on the large screen of a desktop computer or a laptop. But now you need to imagine that website on a much smaller screen. The first thing that tends to come to mind is how are you going to squash all that information and images to fit a small screen properly. This is what mobile friendliness is all about at the end of the day. Your website needs to be laid out well so that it is aesthetically pleasing and easy to browse and read. Now your visitors will not be clicking with a mouse, but they will be pinching and zooming their way around your website. Your aim is to make this a pleasant experience for them, rather than an irritating or wearisome one. If they start to find it difficult to browse through it, chances are that they will simply leave and check out your competitor’s website, and you surely do not want this to happen, especially considering how much you had invested to develop your website and to drive traffic to it. You certainly do not want to put all that time, effort and money to waste, and to couple that up with a loss in customers and sales too!

What should you do now?

So, at this point you are surely appreciating the importance of having a mobile friendly website. But how will you know if your site is mobile friendly or not?

All you have to do is to test your website with this tool: https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/.

It is really simple to use. Just paste your website’s URL and press the blue  “Analyze” button. This tool will then give you the result – that is whether your website is mobile-friendly, or whether you need to make any improvements.

What are you going to do if  your site is not mobile-friendly?

To have a mobile-friendly site you are going to have to do some updates. Let us go over some ways with which you can get your site to be mobile- friendly.

  1. Responsive web design

Basically the actual content of your site and the HTML coding will remain the same across all mobile devices. However, with the use of different style sheets you will be able to reformat how your site is displayed across different mobile devices. With a responsive website design you will be able to hide, display or rearrange content according to different screen sizes.

 

  1. Adaptive design

As the name itself implies, this mobile website design will be able to detect the type of device, and adapt accordingly. Even though a single URL is used across all devices, there will be different versions of the site provided to the user, depending on the device he or she is using.

 

  1. Standalone mobile websites

Unlike the previous two, standalone mobile sites will have unique URLs. So they will be a completely separate website from the desktop version.

 

Each one of these options has its respective pros and cons. Responsive mobile website designs are currently favoured by Google. This is mainly because a responsive design is more easy to update and maintain.

 

What will your next steps be?

If you want your website to attract traffic, it is literally essential to invest in site that is mobile-friendly. It may seem a bit daunting, but it is not something that you should panic about. You just need to take this seriously and to make the necessary changes as soon as possible.

 

 

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Understanding The Principles of Web Design

by interdream

Anyone can build a website nowadays with some training, but building a great site requires an understanding of the principles of web design. You see, there is more to creating a website than just having it look good as there are various accepted rules that just makes everything flow more easily.

Hierarchy

Whenever somebody comes to your website they will land on your home page. The principle of hierarchy is that your home page is used to tell visitors about the most important information regarding your products or services. Visual hierarchy involves the designer structuring the website in such a way that the reader can instantly tell the order in which they should read the content. In other words, make sure that your home page guides people towards the information that is key to your website and give less important information a less prominent position.

Proportion

Fundamentals of Web DesignProportion is the way that two elements of a design relate to one another. If you look at a typical WordPress website, then you will see that the bulk of the information is on the left with the right column being used for snippets of information and links. This scale works well as it tells people the roles that are being played by both areas, but just remember that you should never split things up evenly as symmetry does not work so well on websites.

Repetition

By repetition we mean that certain design elements remain the same from your business cards, to letterheads, to your website. This continuity even on the various pages helps to create a sense of uniformity, which people love and of course one of the key principles of web design is to create a flow from page-to-page so that people know they are on the same website as before due to each web page having recognizable features.

Harmony

Harmony in a design is important as it gives the feeling of everything actually belonging together. Harmony creates balance and it gives a sense of the web designer being in control with all of the information laid out in an easy-to-understand manner – this is appreciated by visitors to the website. Do not have blocks of various sizes scattered all over as this is difficult for the eye to follow.

Contrast

Having everything looking the same is boring and that is why contrast is one of the most effective design principles. You need to offer some contrast by using various fonts, colors, image sizes, and do so between two different design elements of the website. This helps to create more of a visual impact for the visitor and is more likely to lead to the kind of interaction that the website owner wants from their visitors.

Alignment

Alignment links to the actual structure of the website. It deals with the way in which two elements, that are linked, work together from a visual perspective. Take for example a piece of text with a corresponding image. How will the text be positioned according to the image? Will it be to the left, right, with the image above it, or perhaps side by side? The alignment of such features will have a major role in determining what people think of your site when they land there. Keep things aligned to keep it looking organized.

Dominance

The idea of dominance in effective web design is that you use your key point as a real focal point on the page. This could be a call to action button, a sales pitch, gallery, or anything else that contains the main message that you want people to get out of visiting each page on your site. Think carefully about what the primary interest is for the web page and make sure that this is not hidden away or people will simply not understand what the point was of the page.
These are the fundamentals of web design to be aware of, but we are not even talking about complex issues here. Instead, these are web design basics that can make a real difference to the way that your website looks and how it is used by your visitors. These principles remain no matter what the design trends are at any given time as they form the absolute core of the structure of a website. Keep them in mind and you will produce something that is not only visually appealing, but you will also see an improvement in the way people use your website and that in itself is worth a lot.

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