SEO best practices – Putting your visitors first

In this article we look at the importance of first impressions, website essentials, website stickiness, building trust, answering customer’s questions and interaction.

First impressions count!

All visitors to websites these days will choose to either stay or leave in a very short space of time. Therefore, your website needs to look the best it can be with regard to design and content. In addition to this, another factor that contributes to the overall first impression is the speed at which your web page loads. Visitors hate waiting for things to load, and we are all more impatient than ever.

Website Essentials

Headings

A good though provoking heading will encourage the visitor to click on your webpage in the search engine so they can read more. 

Paragraphs

The first paragraph of your page is just as important as the page heading. You can summarise what the visitor will find on the page, introduce your article, it is up to you. However, it should also be short, to the point and not lots of waffle. Ideally your sentences should be roughly between 20 to 25 words. Any text should be broken up into paragraphs so that big blocks of text are avoided. You can also use sub headings and bullet points to further break up text.

Images

In addition to using paragraphs, subheadings and so on, you can use images to illustrate your page and break up the text more. You must alt tag your images and use text to describe the image. You should not stuff the alt tag with keywords but you can use keywords in the image name itself.

Remember that your images must be saved in the same dimensions as they appear on the page so that extra time is not lost loading and adjusting the image to its size on the page. Remember to use .gifs for most images or basic illustrations, .jpeg for photos and .png for either.  

Fonts and type faces

You should use easy to read fonts that are accessible to all such as Verdana, Arial, Times New Roman and Georgia. Avoid custom fonts in body text if possible. These sound like a good idea but you should remember that not everyone will have that font installed on their computer. Custom fonts are best used in graphics and for headings.

Sensible use of colour

The use of colour is just as important as the choice of font you use. The recent boom in flat web design has shaken the status quo with regard to the use of colour. However basic common sense remains. Good examples include using a white background with black text. Bad examples include black backgrounds and white text.

Some of the best ways to use different colours are to style different sections of your website, style section headings, borders, and button links.

Make your website sticky

Making your website sticky means making people want to stay on your website and not just click the back button having just arrived. In order to do this your must give them what they want.

How do your do that? Ask yourself four questions.

  1. Who is your visitor or prospective customer?
  2. What do they want?
  3. What questions and answers do they need?
  4. What do they want to ask me?

With these questions in mind you should write your text accordingly and set out your website in the same way so that everything is easy to find and can be found quickly. Remember everyone wants things fast these days.

Build up trust

Photos of your and your team

You should include photos of you and your team on an about us page. This goes a long way in building trust between you and your visitors because they can see who they will be speaking to and dealing with during correspondence.

Fresh Content

A fresh looking website that is up to date will also help establish trust and show visitors you know your business and what you are doing. If a website looks out of date the visitor will click the back button in the browser without hesitation. You should update time stamps in blogs or post content without a date so that it is ageless. All out dated content should be removed.

Privacy policy, Terms of Use and Contact Information

You should clearly display a link to a privacy policy, terms of use and contact information. The contact information is vital information for visitors and shows how they can reach you and where you are located.

Content that gives visitors what they want to know

Customers have many questions that need answering when ever they seek to make a purchase. One of the best ways to answer these is by having a frequently asked questions page which displays the most asked questions along with their appropriate answers. 

Buyer’s guides are also good sources of information for visitors as are relevant tutorial videos. Note, you should never make the videos start automatically. Instead you should give visitors the option to watch the video. For example using a link called “watch video” or “click here to watch” 

Interact with visitors via blogs and social media

You should allow visitors to post comments in your blogs and at the end of your articles. You should respond in turn to comments. Social media has gone a long way into helping visitors share and spread the word about people, places and shopping experiences. You should place social media icons and social badges on your website to encourage sharing the news about you and your website.
Adam Grannell Web Design, 4A Lancaster Way, Repton Park, Ashford, Kent, TN23 3GB
Call us now on 01233 647979 | Email: info@adamgrannellwebdesign.co.uk
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