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Website DOs and DON'Ts

Content

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Have consistent structure from page to page:

People like consistency. Every page on your website should have the same structure, and the navigation menu should be in the same location on every page. Consistent website structure will lead to more page views by visitors and users will spend more time on your site.

Have an in-depth visitor tracking system:

The key to a successful website is knowing its strengths and weaknesses. An in-depth visitor tracking system allows you to keep track of how many people come to your site, what site they came from, how long they stayed on the site, how many pages they viewed, the town they are located in, and more. The tracking system also reports the pages that are keeping your target audience engaged and the pages that are not.

Create and submit a sitemap to search engines:

Sitemaps tell search engines the location of every page in your website. This allows search engines to better index your site and allows more of the site's pages to be found in searches. More pages being found in searches means more visitors to your website.

Have titles on your pages that make sense:

People pay attention to page titles. Make sure each page's title is clear and descriptive of the content. Search engines will also use a page's title as the link in search results. Therefore the more descriptive the titles are, the more visitors to the page.

Make sure your content is free of spelling and grammatical errors:

It is extremely important to proofread your website multiple times. Your site is a direct reflection of your company. You want your website and your company to look as professional as possible.

Provide a good contact page:

The puropse of your site is to entice your visitors to contact you. One of your most important pages is your "Contact Us" page. This page should list multiple ways for a visitor to contact your company. We recommend adding a "Contact Us Form" to allow visitors to send a message to your company straight from the webpage. This allows visitors to send you a message without having to log into their email account first. Visit our Contact Us page for an example.

Use "Under Construction" pages:

"Under Construction" pages are not recommended. Visitors are often fustrated to find an "Under Construction" message and are not likely to continue checking for updates. We recommend putting your contact information and a brief description of your company with the message, "Last Updated: 9/9/2020, More information coming soon!"

Automatically play music on your sites pages:

Unexpected music playing on a visitor's computer can be more harmful than good. The computer speakers may be set too loud and the music may actually startle your visitor. Also, a visitor may be viewing your site at work and the music may tip off his/her boss. If you must have music playing on your site, make it an option for visitors to turn it on themselves.

Require a visitor to download a plug-in to view pages:

Every visitor that comes to your site is important. The last thing you want to happen is for the visitor to leave immediately because the page is requiring a plug-in download to be viewed. The biggest offenders of this "DON'T" are sites that use Flash. Flash is no longer needed to make a great looking website. Today, with the proper use of CSS and HTML, you can have a fantastic looking site that will be viewable in all web browsers, even on mobile phones and tablet computers.

Use "Click Here" links:

You want the text in a link to be as descriptive as possible. "Click Here" is poor practice for a visitor's usability and it does not provide enough information about the link to the site's visitors and search engines. An example of a descriptive link is: "Contact Us for more information about this topic!"

Have content that is too long:

People read text off a computer screen at about one quarter the speed they do paper. It is important to use content that is clear, informative and uses keywords that allow for easy skimming. It is also recommended to use headings above paragraphs, bulleted lists, and to highlight key points in bold.

Have automatic pop-up windows:

Most visitors find a website with pop-up windows to be one of the most fustrating experiences on the internet. Most people have been conditioned to consider anything that is in a pop-up to be SPAM. If you think you need a pop-up to highlight something about your company, find another way to integrate the information into your main pages that will still get the visitor's attention.