Website Design and Maintenance:
Many business owners focus on the design appearance of their website first. Counter-intuitively, this is really one of the least important parts of what makes a site rank high and work well. It’s also one of the easiest and least expensive things to modify. A site may look great, but if nobody can find it, what’s the purpose? Some of the best looking sites, are the slowest to load. A site that doesn’t load in less than 3 seconds will have a much larger number of “bounces” (people that abandon the site).
- Load speed* (less than 3 seconds).
- Easy navigation with visual images.
- Mobile friendly responsive AND adaptive design…more
- Concise information that is not repetitive, and even worse, content that has been duplicated from another site, or even another page. Google will penalize for this.
- Text: limited use of ALL CAPS text. The human eye reads all caps much slower and has greater difficulty processing it.
- Calls to action on each page or post.
- Contact info (which is a call to action) on each page or post.
- Contact form, instead of an email. Emails are easily harvested by spammers and can hurt, or even blacklist your site. I like to use an easy math problem instead of a captcha with this.
- WordPress Framework, which is the engine of the website. WordPress is the undisputed framework of choice.
- An HTML Level 5 theme. I use Genesis themes for that.
- Google Analytics tracking code embedded on each webpage. This allows monitoring of site traffic, bounce rates, time on site, navigation, demographics and much, much more.
- Business listing: Google, Bing, Yelp (et. al.) business listing verification.
- Reputation management through Google Alerts and Talk-walker monitoring.
- Yoast Local integration for SEO, which is a paid subscription included in my cost.
- Cloudflare – a website security service (CDN).
- Back-up Buddy – weekly or daily backups of the entire site.
- A dozen or more plugin’s that do a variety of functions that have to be updated continually.
- Spam filters – plugins that stop spam.
- Integration with social media.
- Secure passwords that are changed periodically.
- Site audits with independent third party tools to measure the sites performance.
*Another important design consideration is imagery. Make sure photos are optimized for maximum clarity, but small enough to load fast. Above all, make sure they are copyright safe!