Published on August 10, 2013
Why bother? • Websites play an integral part in the branding and marketing of every company • It’s really easy to make small changes that have a big impact • Most SMBs neglect their websites, so it’s easy to stand out from the competition! www.losangeleswebstrategies.com
Typography & Design
Typography • Make your copy scannable • Break up text with sub-headings, bulleted lists, highlighted words • Optimize for F-shaped reading patterns www.losangeleswebstrategies.com
• Increase the font size to improve readability • Make sure your line height is sufficient • Go to: pearsonified.com/typography/ Optimize your type settings www.losangeleswebstrategies.com
Best Practices • Use no more than two different fonts for your body copy • Use web-safe fonts like Arial, Georgia, Verdana, Lucida, and/or Tahoma • Remove underlines on all non-hyperlinked text (because you don’t want to confuse/annoy visitors by creating faux links)
Design • Place your name and logo on every page and make the logo a link to the homepage • Use a consistent navigational structure across all of your pages (sales/landing pages excepted) www.losangeleswebstrategies.com
“Users form their expectations for your site based on what's commonly done on most other sites. If you deviate, your site will be harder to use and users will leave.” – Jakob Nielsen, usability expert Don’t re-invent the wheel www.losangeleswebstrategies.com
Best Practices • Improve your site’s photography • Don’t use distorted or grainy images • Avoid using stock photography whenever possible; hire a local photographer or enlist a creative colleague, family member
Content • Include your company tagline next to your logo on every page • Make sure your homepage has a clear, benefit-focused headline of what your company offers (and to whom) www.losangeleswebstrategies.com
Copywriting (Basics) • Use short, easy-to-understand words and phrases • Avoid long paragraphs and sentences • Use the (free) Readability Test tool (read-able.com) to check your site’s readability; make sure it’s under grade 8
Calls to action (CTA) • Make sure your site has calls to action that are prominent, compelling, and relevant – Write CTAs that appeal to visitors’ self- interest – Position them in high-profile areas of your site – Ask for varying levels of commitment – Make it easy for visitors to take action www.losangeleswebstrategies.com
Links • Add links to your social media profiles, as well as calls to action to follow/friend/connect with your business • Add an e-newsletter sign-up form – “If you don't have a newsletter, then publishing one is probably the single- highest ROI action you can take to improve your Internet presence.” – Jakob Nielsen
Copywriting (Advanced) • Apply the inverted pyramid structure to your copy, starting with the general/essential information and moving into greater (non-essential) detail
Visual • Put photos of your team on your about page; people like doing business with real people www.losangeleswebstrategies.com
About Page • Pay special attention to your about page • Include any conversion points (like an opt-in form/newsletter sign-up) on your about page
Usability • Identify the top goals that users have when they visit your site (e.g. getting directions, learning about your products, etc.); optimize your content and site architecture accordingly
Links • Use color to distinguish visited and unvisited links; this sounds innocuous, but it’s one of the few universally agreed upon standards among usability experts www.losangeleswebstrategies.com
Contact Info • Include your phone number and address on your homepage (and every other page) www.losangeleswebstrategies.com
Search? • Get rid of your search feature if it doesn’t perform well (if you have fewer than 10 pages on your site, get rid of it regardless) www.losangeleswebstrategies.com
Say no to PDFs • Limit links to PDF documents; users don’t like to toggle between web pages and PDFs www.losangeleswebstrategies.com
Best Practices • Get rid of any Flash elements • Embed a Google map on your contact page; include your exact address • Make sure that each page on your website has a unique and accurate title tag and meta description • Update your website with fresh content on a regular basis
Finally… • Make sure your site loads quickly! • Get a mobile version of your site if you are in an industry where mobile search is common
Parting Words • You don’t have to do these things all at once • Make incremental improvements over time • Contact us at anytime if you need assistance
We’d love to help. • Just get in touch! www.losangeleswebstrategies.com (213) 607-9100
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