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Top 10 Web Design & UX Tactics in 2017 (Infographic)

2017 will be full of surprises. However, you still need to stay up-to-date for the latest trends in web design and user experience.

This infographic compiles ten great web design and UX trends to watch for in 2017. They’re all based on fundamental principles known to boost conversions. Try one or more of these tactics to make your website more powerful in the new year. Take a closer look at it.

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Infographic credit: The Deep End Web Consulting

How Speed Affects Your Website’s Performance (Infographic)

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How Fast Should A Website Load?

That may sound like an unusual question to some people. You may think that different websites should load in a different amount of time. Maybe one has a lot of high quality images on it and another one is plain text. Well, none of that really matters as your viewers and potential customers are generally not taking any of that into account, they don’t want to wait.

For example, a survey showed that almost half (47%) of customers expect that your website will be finished loading within two seconds. Almost two thirds (64%) of smartphone users expect that your website will be finished loading within four seconds.

These demands may be unreasonable ones to make as people often share a crowded Wifi connection for example, but again it does not matter what is reasonable or not. If you are trying to make sales or even just build a following of regular visitors, then you need to do what you can to bring your website loading time down as low as possible.

What Happens If My Website Is Slow?

Well, for a start, you can look at what you do personally when you find yourself on a slower website. How long do you wait for the main page to load? How likely are you to consider browsing through the website if the first page loaded too slowly? You may be more or less patient than the average viewer so your own interactions with websites are not going to cover what everyone else does. That’s why we put together this information on website load time statistics from multiple studies on the subject.

79% of customers who run into any kind of performance issues on your website are less likely to buy from you again. This covers more than just the time load time of your website, but the speed of your website is one of the easiest things to fix on order to prevent hesitation among repeat buyers.

A delay in load time of just one second can leave you with a 7% reduction in conversions. For example, if your website is bringing in $100,000 per day in sales that one second delay could be costing you $7,000 per day or more.

That same one second delay in the loading of a page also means that around 11% of your potential viewers will simply close the page or back out of it without even seeing what you have to offer.

Another point to keep in mind is the “bounce rate” of the viewers who land on your website. The bounce rate tells you in percentage terms how many of your viewers are leaving your website after viewing just one page. It could be that they do not wish to continue on your website because it is performing badly, or it could also be that they found the relevant information they needed on the first page they looked at. So, this statistic will need to be viewed on a site by site basis to really see if it is a problem or not.

The point of all of this is that, speed affects your bottom line and even if you’re not selling anything, it affects how people see you as a person or a brand.

How Can I Speed It Up?

First of all, you should find out how fast your website is loading from more locations than just your home internet connection or from a smartphone. You also need to get exact numbers. It is not that helpful to ask a friend to visit your website and then report back. They will most likely just say “it was fast,” with no more details.

To get more specific, you should use one of the many site speed test tools that can be found online with a quick search. These tools will allow you to test the speed of your website from different locations around the world while also giving you more precise numbers on load times. You can set up monitoring so that you will receive alerts if your website begins to perform slowly or goes offline altogether.

If you’re not already using Google Analytics or some other similar website analytics package, then you should start now. Google Analytics is free and it will allow you to see much more information about your website visitors than what you are aware of right now. For example, you can see the bounce rate, which was discussed in the earlier segment. If that is too high then you will know you need to work on it.

One of the main reasons for slow website loading is the type of hosting plan that the owner has bought. You get what you pay for in the world of hosting. If you are only paying a few dollars per month for hosting then there is a very high chance that your host is not providing you with the best hardware and bandwidth available.

Another important factor in website speed is the size of images and other elements that appear on a page. If you have a website that is heavy on images, then you need to make sure they are optimized for the web. This can be done with software such as Photoshop or a free alternative. It can even be done automatically by other means, such as a WordPress plugin.

Don’t forget to check out the full infographic for more information on this topic. It is full of real life examples and figures that should definitely make you get serious about the speed of your own website.

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Infographic credit: Skilled.co

Top 100 Website Design Tools You’ll Love (Infographic)

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If you are a freelancer, a consultant, a marketing employee, or a confirmed designer, today’s infographic should interest you.

The following web design tools have been cleverly divided into several categories. For each category, you’ll find both free and paid tools. There is a favorite tool for each category.

Always keep in mind that the list is neither exhaustive nor objective. Still, it should help people saving hundreds of hours looking for appropriate tools.

Here are two categories that have particularly caught our attention:

  1. Our favorite typograhy tool is Frontface Ninja, a web plug in that lets you identify the font of the page you are browsing.
  2. When it comes to stock photo, we love Stocksy, which allows user to download distinctive and qualitative stock pictures.

Take a look at the infographic for more detailed bits. Maybe you’ll find something useful to redesign your website.

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Infographic credit: Illustrio

The Top 5 Elements of Web Redesign You Shouldn’t Ignore

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Redesigning and tweaking a website is a risky task. Done carelessly, you may end up spending more money, time, and resources while the result is very unpredictable.

The truth is, you’re just as likely to flop. There are hundreds of good websites which, sadly, mixed up with millions bad ones. In today’s post, we will review five qualities that makes web redesign count. It would be fun to break down these criteria and see how they actually affect your website.

Are you ready? Here is the first one:

1. Clarity

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If your visitor doesn’t know what the page is about and what’s in it for them in the first few seconds, you’re messed up. The goal here is to:

  • Make sure you can properly articulate your offer
  • Make your offer attractive
  • Ensure they know how to take the next step

2. Readability

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This is a huge factor that is often overlooked on ‘non-blog’ pages. All too often companies go a little crazy with:

  • Typefaces
  • Characters per line
  • Page breaks
  • Bolding
  • Colors

All you need to do is stay consistent and make content “eligible” and joyful enough to consume. If your text can’t be read, then your message will get lost.

3. Appearance

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A professional site design will build trust with new visitors. Authentic imagery, coloration, and a solid visual hierarchy are all crucial factors for your site. You need some sections to stand out more than other and capitalise where it counts.

A site that does this well can subtly accent the most important content while giving the visitor a sense of autonomy.

4. On-site experience

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You need to articulate the purpose, have solid usability for visitors of all skill levels and devices, and fast load times. If anyone of these things are missing, your user will have a hard time using your site and won’t convert.

5. Navigation

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If we’re looking at a landing page, you want minimal navigation. Still, you also need to design the other pages to be intuitive. Take a look at our tips here on how build an intuitive and customer-friendly website!

Top 5 Web Designer’s Tools for 2016

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Web design is a very dynamic niche. Every year, dozens of new tools get released and updated.

Their purpose is to reduce the use of code and make web design more suitable for users. In this post, we are going to review some of the top web design tools for 2016.

1. Visual Composer

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If WordPress is your CMS of choice, you definitely need to try the Visual Composer. This is one of the most popular page builders that allows you to create richer pages that will definitely stand out. Currently, the Visual Composer is powering more than 1 million websites. The reason for its popularity is the use of drag and drop features that completely eliminate coding from web design work.

Visual Composer’s regular package can be bought for $34 (additional $10 for prolonged support), and it contains more than 40 premium content elements, 60+ predefined layouts and more than 150 third party add-ons. All this is complemented with SEO friendly page building environment and standard WordPress text editor. One of Visual Composer’s most important feature is the easy shift between its front- and backend editor.

2. Contact Form 7

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This WordPress plugin helps you to create contact forms and scoop visitors’ orders and data. It comes with many pre-made forms and ability to add contact form input fields with the use of short tags. Contact form customisation takes place on admin screen page and when you finish, you can insert it into a page layout by pasting a simple line of code into your page editor. All other customisation can be done with the use of HTML and CSS in admin screen or on the spot, which enables admins to completely unleash their creativity, and create outstanding forms.

3. Avocode

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Many web designers have troubles with transferring their designs into code. Avocode is very helpful for frontend developers, since it helps them to transfer their visuals into code snippets. This code generator comes with many helpful features, including:

  • Conversion into CSS: converts content and design elements into CSS and supports Less, Suss and Stylus.
  • Finding color codes: converts colors into codes. Web designers just need to pick a color and this Avocade feature tells them it’s HEX or RGBA code.
  • Customisation of Code Output: easily changes code variables, including: fonts, distances, aligns, gradients and colors.
  • Retina Graphics: scales imagery to satisfy retina pixel density. It can work with several different photo formats.
  • Easy Files Import: imports files into software with the use of ’drag and drop’ feature.
  • Photoshop Support: Avocode supports PSD files and preserves all of their layers.

4. Macaw

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It is a web design tool that allows you to write HTML and CSS code, by creating, editing and positioning graphic elements. By using this web designing tool you will easily learn how to make a website. It is a perfect for web designers who are more accustomed to graphic elements and photo editor surroundings. These are some of the Macaw main features:

  • Stream: it is a layout engine that calculates margins, clears and floats and enables designers to add different elements to static document.
  • Alchemy: tool that converts graphic elements into HTML and CSS code.
  • Responsiveness: helps designers with optimising their website for tablets and smartphones.
  • Typography: comes with wide variety of different fonts.
  • Styling: changes various elements in front-end surroundings.
  • Components Storage: stores all graphic elements in a media library and allows designers to use them for different projects.

5. Antetype

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Antetype is a UX design app. It is equipped with all tools UX designers need for creating high-end prototypes. Antetype widget library contains more than 400 pre-designed widgets that can be added or customised to satisfy user’s needs. It also allows designers to create their own widgets and export them as pixel- or vector- based graphics. Like several other apps we mentioned in this article, Antetype can also generate CSS code and make designs responsive and retina-ready.

Web designing process starts from an idea. This is the most important part of website creation, so before you start using great tools we listed above, think about innovative features that can make your future website different and unique.

Emotion and Web Design: The Keys to an Affective Ecommerce Websites

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Everything around you that you interact with has a certain degree of emotional link that triggers you to reach out and use it, touch it, or even see it.

The way our emotional responses register against objects and people is truly amazing and without these inherent instincts we cannot tell for sure what it is exactly that we want. This very concept fuels the latest algorithms that predict human behavior. The technology is known as emotional intelligence.

You might not know it yet but many accessories, appliances and devices that you own have traces of emotional intelligence in their system. Manufacturers of smartphones, digital wristwatches and other types of advance gadgetry have dedicated departments for research and development on personalization of emotions in their target audience. Without knowing how the users will respond to their products on an emotional level they dare not take the risk of putting it in the market. To harness the energy of emotional intelligence, personalization algorithms are developed to do the job.

The web design industry has already taken up the task to integrate emotional intelligence within their designs. This will not only allow the users to minimize their efforts in finding the required content, but also help them around situations where involuntary response is required. But how are these websites built from the emotional perspective? Let’s see.

Using Personas

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Mostly it counts as strangely volatile customer behavior, but without it there is no guarantee that the consumer is going to buy from your website or not. The first and the foremost phase of getting down an emotionally responsive design for your website is knowing the customer behavior and the best method for that is Personas. Buyer Personas are artificial or fictional representation of your ideal customers that interact with you or have bought from your store at some point. By keeping an army of readied fictional customers you can analyze the responses they would generate when you add a personalization algorithm in your website. This not only increases the emotional intelligence of your web design but also enhances marketing, rankings and conversions on your online store.

Real Time Buying Experience

Emotion sensing technology is not confined to just images and text, but on a wider spectrum it is expressed through voice, gestures and movement that summarize a customer’s emotional upheavals. Getting down gesture controls or voice commands for websites is definitely a cool thing of the future, but quite very impossible for everyone to use given the current statistics. Many online users still are hooked onto their desktops while others with handheld devices rarely use any complex features and prefer to type their way through. To compensate emotionally smart and responsive web experience, web designers add real time features to give the user a walk through from the brick and mortar store the website represents. Features for instance 360 degree view, 3D videos of the store and product display on store shelves with realistic graphics does best to engage the customers and prompt them into purchasing the product for the time being. With the debut of VR (virtual reality) technology a new future awaits the ecommerce industry.

Emotionally Responsive Suggestions

It might have occurred to you on any instance when you were browsing a website, you came across an online advertisement of the same product you visited on another online store a week ago. It’s quite creepy at first when you don’t know what is happening, but eventually you’ll start to get along. On the backstage of the website you are currently there is some white spacing that can be utilized and the algorithm finds the searches you have done recently and puts them on the available space. It calculates how often have you visited the products and even suggests similar and related products from the product pages you clicked. Smarter algorithms are capable of developing a working vocabulary so each time we visit a product page it immediately shows the products on other pages such as Facebook and twitter. By integrating emotionally responsive algorithms to suggest products each website you visit will feel like a friend.

Knowing People

Designing a website from an emotional perspective is about how good you know people. You must understand the perception of your visitors, but it’s even better if you can ask them. What methods you normally use to acquire information? How do people react to different web designs? What are their preferences when it comes to products? Online registration forms have been around since the birth of internet while other methods such as comment logs, questionnaires, forums are also commonly used to learn about customer behaviors. Remember, in order to construct an effectively smart algorithm you need to get as much as you can from the internet. You can also use physical methods to research on emotional links to web design such as interviews, distributing forms and contacting them through phone.

Conclusion

Emotions are never too complicated to be solved. People change and when they do, algorithms must too as well. Without adding emotional perspective in your web design you simply cannot link machine logic with human touch. In order to keep up, make sure you update your emotion sensing data by running your research again and again after a certain period. It is highly anticipated that with the ongoing advancements in technology and the invention of new emotion sensitive software and gadgets, the role of web designers in the coming future will be a challenging one.

The Anatomy of a Perfectly Optimised Landing Page

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SEO is a tough job. If you are new to SEO, you might get lost in countless optimisation tips and techniques.

Well, SEO is much like a puzzle. You need to collect all its multiple pieces (content, backlinks, etc.) in order for them to start working together. However your SEO efforts are lost in vain unless you build your pages in the right, SEO-friendly manner. The question is, how do you do that?

Even though there is no exact formula that makes your page guaranteed Google’s #1, there are some common rules of thumb to increase your chances to succeed. So, let’s look at them one by one and optimise each element of your page:

1. Proper URL formatting

Consistent and easy-to-navigate URLs are preferred by both search engines and human visitors. Though the best practices mentioned they are not customary, it’s a good idea to try to stick to them whenever possible.

Use keywords

Many SEOs believe that the influence of keyword-rich URLs on rankings is getting lower over time, however keywords in the URL are still an important factor to determine your pages CTR, as they show up in search results, and serve one of the most prominent elements searchers consider when selecting which site to click. A nice side effect of having keywords in your URL is that when people (say in forums) link to your site with the URL as a link you thus get your keywords in the anchor text of your backlinks.

Keep URLs readable and avoid special symbols

As a rule of a thumb, try to avoid extraneous characters in the URLs – such as &, %, $, and @. Your go-to symbols are slashes to separate folders and dashes or underscores to separate words (note that if you separate keywords with spaces, they will be rendered in the URL as 20% which makes the URLs barely readable.)

Mind the length

Shorter URLs are, generally speaking, preferable. You don’t need to take this to the extreme, and if your URL is already less than 50-60 characters, don’t worry about it at all. But if you have URLs pushing 100+ characters, there’s probably an opportunity to rewrite them and gain value.

If you’re building your page URLs based on the title of your post, think of cutting down on stop words (and, but, a, the, and others) to make them shorter and more readable.

Also try to avoid excessive number of folders — use your folder structure to show the hierarchy of your content.

ex. URLs for your company website:

  • http://example.com/contact/ http://example.com/about-us/

ex. URLs for an ecommerce website:

  • http://example.com/product-name/ http://example.com/category-name/product-name/

ex. URLs for your blog:

  • http://example.com/post-title/
  • http://example.com/category-name/post-title/
  • http://example.com/mm/dd/yyyy/post-title/
  • http://example.com/post-title/three-digit-ID/

How to check?

  • Launch WebSite Auditor and create a new project for your website.
  • The software will collect all your website pages. You can then easily spot any dynamic URLs you currently have, and find too long URLs you may consider rewriting.
  • Also you get the full list of your website URLs for a deeper analysis in the Pages module of the software.

2. Relevant, keyword-rich title

SEO-wise, the title tag is one of the most important page elements. It lets search engines know what your page is about, and the tag’s contents are commonly used as part of your listing’s snippet in search results.

If you ever had doubts of its influence on search results, have a look at a nice example of optimised title tag from Google itself — go to the AdSense home page and see how Google has optimised the title for “make money online” phrase.

Place keywords in the beginning

The closer your target keyword is to the beginning of your title tag, the more keyword-relevant your page will be considered by search engines. Try to always start your title with your keywords to emphasize their importance.

Use character savers

If you need to squeeze more text in the title, you can replace word like “and” with the ampersand (&) symbol, “or” with the slash (/) or “copyright” with ©. Remember to implement special chars using HTML entities (& with & © with © etc.)

Treat your title as an advertisement

Keep in mind that your title tag, shown in the organic snippet, is much like an advertisement — the more compelling your ad is, the more clicks you will get from search engines. So don’t forget about the fundamental ad copy tactics:

  • Low price reference — to show you’re a price leader on the market.
  • Freshness reference — to show your content is truly up to date.
  • Volume reference — to show how comprehensive and impressive your content is.

How to check?

In WebSite Auditor, you can audit the list of your page titles to find any missing, duplicate and too long titles. But more to that, in the Content Editor module, you can test different titles for your page and see how they will look in Google’s SERPs.

3. Schema markup

It’s important to understand that Schema markup is not a ranking factor yet. However, Google can use your marked up data to form a rich snippet in search results. Rich snippet has a huge potential to increase your listing’s CTR. And higher CTR, in its turn, is likely to give you a positive ranking boost. Google’s rich snippets can include images, ratings, and other industry-specific pieces of data in addition to the classic title, URL, and description.

They can be used for different kinds of content, such as products, recipes, reviews, and events. Depending on the type, you can add several niche-specific rich snippet elements, such as cooking time and nutritional information for recipes.

Use a plugin

If your website is built on WordPress, the easiest way for you to create Schema is a plugin, such as Schema Creator plugin by Raven.

Use Google’s Schema generator

A more universal way to create Schema (regardless of the type of your website) is Structured Data Markup Helper. Using this tool is very simple — you can assign specific Schema properties to the text that you highlight on the page preview. When finished creating your Schema markup, you can always preview your snippets by copying and pasting your page’s source code into Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool.

How to check?

When running your pages’ technical audit in WebSite Auditor, you can see if this or that page already has structured data markup in place.

4. Breadcrumbs

A breadcrumb is a simple menu of internal links located at the top of the page to indicate a user’s current position in the hierarchy of your website. First, it allows users to quickly navigate the website and understand how “deep” they are from the home page or main section page. Second, breadcrumbs become an additional way for you to better explain to search engines what your pages are about and get an extra SEO benefit. And third, Google is using breadcrumbs in their search results. To help search engines identify your breadcrumb hierarchy, you can use structured data markup to tag the different components that make your breadcrumb menus.

 

5. Internal site search

Internal search lets visitor search the content they need within your website. And if your website is over 20 pages, having a search box in place is definitely a good idea for you. Site search can be seamlessly integrated with Google Analytics, making it easy to view the search queries that users are entering into your search bar. You can follow these steps to link your site’s search to Google Analytics reporting.

Reduce bounce rates

Quite often visitors land to your site from Google not on the page that suits their query best. And not seeing the content they were looking for, the searchers bounce back to Google, thus telling the search engine that your page is not the best one to rank for that query. If your website provides an easy way to find that desired information with just a tiny bit of extra effort, you are immediately raising the chances of people staying on your website. An internal search option is a great way to accomplish this.

Find new SEO keywords and ideas for content production

It’s very likely that users are typing the same (or similar) queries into your site’s search bar as they are into Google and other search engines. It’s also very likely that while mining through these queries, you’ll find new keywords that you’ll want to target. More to that, internal search queries provide insight into how users are searching for your existing content and show you what content they expect or hope to find on your site. By digging into this data, you can find what content you are currently missing on your site.

6. Optimised headings (H1-H6)

HTML Heading tags (H1-H6) are used to isolate each section of your content and show it’s hierarchy within the whole page. Heading tags are a strong relevancy signals to search engines, so it’s a good idea to include your keywords in some of them. The H1 tag is your page’s main heading, and by far the most important one. So first, you need to make sure that you do have an H1 tag on your page (most CMS’s, like WordPress, will automatically add the H1 tag to your blog post title. However, even in WordPress, some themes can override this setting, which you may want to fix.) Second, that you have only one H1 tag in place. And third, that you have one of your target keywords in there.

The H2-H6 tags are supposed to separate the subordinate parts of your content. And you can use as many of them on your page as it is required by the size of the page and your content structure. Keep in mind that the header tags should be placed by hierarchy (H1 to H6) — you shouldn’t break the structure by using H1 and then jump to H3.

How to check?

For each page you analyze, WebSite Auditor will give you tailor-made advice on optimizing the heading tags based on your top-ranking competitors example. You will then be able to edit each of the tags in the software’s Content Editor to match your competitor’s best practices.

7. Keywords in the main content

As mentioned above, Google gives extra weight to the words in your heading tag, however it’s also important to have your main content optimized.

Place keywords in the first 100-150 words of the article

This is something that you probably do naturally. But a lot of people start their posts off with a long and use their keyword for the first time in the middle of the post. It’s better to drop your keyword somewhere in the first 100 words or so. That helps Google understand what your page is all about.

Use all kinds of synonyms and related words

Remember the Hummingbird algorithm update? The one with which Google learned to recognize the meaning behind a search query and give a common answer to a number of “different-in-keywords” but “same-in-meaning” queries? This update changed the way SEOs optimize pages — now we no longer think “single keyword optimization”, but try to make our pages relevant for a whole group of synonyms and related terms.

So, adding all kinds of related keywords will help you improve your pages’ rankings and avoid the keyword stuffing issues.

How to check?

To avoid keyword staffing issues, you also need to know “How many keywords are not too many?” And one of the ways to check this is by looking at top ranking competitors (because the sites that rank in top 10 are the sites that pass Google quality test with an A+.)

And this is exactly what you can do with WebSite Auditor — in its Page Audit tab you will see the average keyword usage stats of your top ranking competitors and where your website lags behind or, on the contrary, goes overboard with keyword usage.

8. Content length

There are a number of SEO studies showing that longer content generally ranks higher. So, as a rule of thumb, aim for at least 2000-words when targeting competitive keywords.

However it’s important to understand that the elusive “ideal content length” may vary a lot from niche to niche. So, for a realistic reference on the right size for your content, it’s best to look at pages that already rank well for the keywords you’re targeting.

How to check?

In WebSite Auditor’s Content Analysis module, look at Word count in body. When analyzing your page, the software also looks at the top 10 ranking pages for the keyword you specify, and determines an optimal word count range for your page’s content based on this data. If your page’s content falls within this range, you’ll see a green Correct sign next to this factor.

9. Multimedia

Text can only take your content so far. Engaging images, videos and diagrams on you pages can definitely improve user experience, and thus reduce bounce rate and increase time on site.

However, besides optimizing user experience, you can use these elements for SEO benefit. For instance, properly optimized images are yet another way of telling search engines what your page is about.

Optimise your images Alt and Title tags

The alt tag is used by search engines to tell what the image is about, and every image on your page should have an alt text.

The title attribute is shown as a tooltip when you hover over the element. Even though the title attribute is not required, you may still consider using it on your pages.

Consider adding a video transcript

If you’re placing a relevant piece of video on a not-that-rich-in-content page of your website, consider adding the video transcript as additional textual content on the page.

How to check?

In WebSite Auditor’s Content Analysis, check the Images section to see if any of your images lack alt text (Empty ALT texts), and how often your keywords are used in the alternative attributes on the page (Keywords in ALT texts.)

10. Above-the-fold content

The term “above the fold” was initially inherited from newspaper editors, who were preoccupied with getting their content to look perfect above the physical fold in the paper.

In a same manner, website designers and copywriters have always aimed at making this content eye-catching and compelling enough for the visitor to continue reading beyond the scroll.

However, after Google’s page layout update the above-the-fold content became an SEO concept just as well — the search engine started penalizing sites for lots of ads (and not much content) above the fold.

So, while display advertising may be an essential revenue model for your websites, too many ads may have a negative impact on search rankings. Ensure any display advertising is non-intrusive and your pages are having enough content above the fold.

11. External links

Outbound links to related pages is a relevancy signal that helps Google figure out your page’s topic. It also shows Google that your page is a hub of quality info. Google may not have explicitly stated that this improves your rankings, but many SEO experts believe so from their personal experience.

A good rule of thumb for most sites would be to link out 2-4x per 1000 words. However, you need to keep in mind that the sites you link out to reflect on you (make sure to link out to authority sites whenever possible.)

How to check?

Same as with everything in SEO, overdoing is not the right pass to go with your external links. Having a really large number of outgoing links on a page (namely, more than 100) could be overwhelming to users. Besides, when a page has too many outbound links, this is often a sign of a low-quality site or a page that sells links, which could send the wrong kind of signal to search engines.

In WebSite Auditor’s Content Analysis -> Page Audit module, look at the Number of links on the page factor. The software will signal you if you have too many outgoing links, as well as give you the exact list of those outgoing links.

12. Social share buttons

Social signals may not play a direct role in ranking your site. But social shares generate more eyeballs on your content. And the more eyeballs you get, the more likely someone is to link. So don’t be shy about placing social sharing buttons prominently on your site.

In fact, a study by BrightEdge found that prominent social sharing buttons can increase social sharing by 700%.

Be strategic about social share buttons

Even though social share buttons are a great way to generate referral traffic, they can also slow down your page load time (because most share buttons are javascript-based, meaning they’re generating an iFrame on the page.)

So, try to use social share buttons strategically on your website. For example, opt-in landing pages may not be suitable candidates for social share buttons (because you want visitors to respond to the CTA on that page, instead of getting distracted by social sharing.)

How to check?

When analyzing your website, WebSite Auditor also collects social media stats for each of your pages, thus letting you analyze on which pages your social media buttons don’t give any tangible results and may be safely removed.

 

13. Mobile friendliness

With over half of Google searches coming from mobile devices, Google’s increasing focus on improving mobile search results. From a nice-to-have, mobile friendliness has turned into a must — if your page isn’t optimized for mobile devices, it’s likely to be discarded from mobile search results completely.

Responsive design is perhaps the simplest and most widely used solution to go mobile friendly — and it’s the one Google recommends, too. If you use WordPress (or any CMS, really), choosing a responsive template for your site is about all it takes. You’re in for more work if your site is HTML-coded with no CMS in place. However, there’s a bunch of documentation available on adapting responsive design for web developers. It might take a bit of work to get every aspect right, but it’s an investment that’ll definitely keep paying off increasingly.

How to check?

If your page is mobile friendly overall, you might want to make sure no minor issues are left unnoticed.

To check if your page passes Google’s mobile friendly test, go to Content Analysis -> Page Audit in WebSite Auditor. Locate Page usability (Mobile) on the list of on-page factors on the left. Clicking on Mobile friendly will show you what your page looks like on mobile devices.

The factors in the Page usability (Mobile) section are the exact features Google believes mobile-friendly pages should have, according to Google Developers’ PageSpeed Insights, so you’ll want all of them to be marked with a green Correct sign.

14. Page speed

Page speed refers to the amount of time a page needs to be completely loaded. Page speed depends on many different factors, from host to design and can be optimised.

Page speed matters to Google

Google has officially confirmed that it uses page speed in its ranking algorithm. Page speed can also influence your SEO indirectly, as search engines will likely crawl fewer pages if your site is slow due to the allocated crawl budget. This, in turn, could negatively affect your site’s indexation.

Page speed matters to visitors

While page speed is important to Google and for your rankings, it does also impact your user experience. And it is not a secret that a positive user experience often leads to better conversions. Slower pages tend to have higher bounce rates and lower average time on page. Research shows a 1-second delay in page load time can result in a 7% reduction in conversions.

So what’s the page speed you should aim for? Google’s mentioned they expect pages to load in 2 seconds or less.

How to check?

In WebSite Auditor’s Content Analysis module, take a look at the Page speed (Desktop) factors on the left. Under this section, you’ll see the exact list of speed-related factors Google’s looking for in webpages, according to their PageSpeed Insights.

You’d want to concentrate on any factor under the Page speed section that has an Error or Warning status. Click on any of the factors you’d like to improve on for how-to-fix tips.

If there’re any Uncompressed images or Unminified resources found on your page, jump to the Recommendation tab for a ready-made compressed version of your images and JS/CSS. Follow the link to download the lighter version of those, and feel free to upload them to your site right away.

All in all, these are the most important things to consider in on-page SEO for your pages. If you take into account most of the factors listed above, you will build a strong base for your future off-page SEO efforts.

Is Your Website Accessibility Compliant?

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The extended December 31 2014 deadline for Australian website accessibility compliance is fast approaching (WCAG 2.0 Level AA standard). This is a mandatory requirement on all websites owned and/or operated by the Australian government departments and agencies under any domain. This includes external (public-facing or private) and internal (closed community) sites. Therefore, conformance is required for all internet, intranet and extranet sites. Have you taken the necessary steps?

Read More…

Designing Websites for Skimmers, Swimmers and Divers (Infographic)

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Many great websites which have garnered valuable information and content will face another challenge: presenting the content as informative and engaging as possible.

As you plan the structure and the design of your site, keep in mind of your site visitors in three categories: Skimmers, Swimmers and Divers. Each group is willing to go progressively deeper and spend more time on your site. They each have different needs and wants when it comes to their online experience.

The question is, how do you design your site to address all of them? Start by understanding what each audience is looking for and think through opportunities to meet that need. Take a look at this infographic and learn how to optimise your blog and website content for these three different types of visitors: skimmers, swimmers and divers.

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Infographic credit: Landslide Creative

Top Five Web Design Trends in 2015 (Infographic)

With 2016 is only a step away, it might be a good idea to review stuffs that work and what don’t.

However, as December is slowly coming to end, we’re wondering what could we learn from 2015? Well, one of the important element that we must focus next year is the web design.In today’s infographic, we’ve compiled top five web design trends of 2015. Take a look at it by yourself.

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Infographic credit: Sayenko Design