The internet was introduced to consumers in 1969, however, it wasn’t until 1990 when one of the largest advancements was written, called the World Wide Web. This progression led to the first web page in 1991. With the nature of technology, it seems impossible to keep up. As a business owner, it’s essential to pay attention to the changes that could affect your business. For most consumers today, the first impression of a company is usually through their website. Ask yourself, “When was the last time I reviewed my website and does it speak well for my product or service?”Also, if a company’s website does not appear on the first page in a specific search, you may want to schedule a review. The following check list should help with your analysis.
Updating Your Content Site content is a reflection of a company and keeping the content fresh may be the determining factor as to whether a consumer chooses your company or a competitor. Not only is current content good for business, but it keeps search engines happy as well. This also helps improve SERPs. Search engine algorithms that are designed to determine page rankings by checking for new, relevant, and fresh content on sites.
Social Media Icons Participating with social media is just as important as having a website. A great online marketing strategy is to link your website with your company’s social media networks. Incorporating social media may help your web presence and assist with search engine optimization.
Search Engine Optimization Search engine optimization is a methodology of strategies and algorithms used to increase the visitor traffic to a website by acquiring a high-ranking placement in the search results page of a search engine (aka Search Engine Ranking Page or ‘SERP’). When applied to web pages appropriately, it adds relevance to the web page in a user search. If you are wondering how your website’s SEO ranks, you can check your status through www.SEOsitecheckup.com among other resources.
Is Your Website Mobile Friendly? Internet users have gravitated to their mobile devices since the birth of the smart phone. The accessibility to smart phones has made exploring the internet much easier; therefore it is very important that your website transfers well to a mobile device. Statistics provided by Pew Research Center (May 2013) show that 91% of Americans own a cell phone, 56% have a smartphone and 28% of cell owners own an Android; 25% own an iPhone; 4% own a Blackberry. For a minimal fee, there are services out there that can make a website mobile friendly like www.Dudamobile.com.
Website Speed There could be many issues contributing to a slow web page speed. The speed of a page is made up of both Front-end and Server-side components. When a user requests a website, the Front-end and Server-side both take time to pull up the web page. The average time to call for a website is one to three seconds. Check your website’s speed at http://tools.pingdom.com/fpt/. If you are not thrilled with your website’s performance, investigate the Front-end and Server-side components to see if there are any real issues.
Cross-Browser Compatibility With the multiple browsers out there, be sure your website’s coding will translate on the most commonly used browsers. Some of the more popular browsers include Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, Netscape, and Opera. When your web master prepares the coding for your company’s website, it is best to use only standard compliant coding to make a website cross-browser compatible. Test your website’s browser compatibility at www.browsershots.org.
These are just a few things to consider when reviewing the functionality of your company’s website. However, it could be useful to meet with your web master to find out about the latest and greatest practices and applications for websites. Start the New Year right and revisit your marketing plan. It’s time to embrace new online practices for your company and the first step should be your website.