Award winning web site design seoThere are countless lists out there of ways to improve your website – some are good, some… meh. I went through a comprehensive list – we are talking over 100 items – and culled them down to the Top 14 Ways to Improve Your Website.

1. Add your analytics code to every page of your website. Not saying that Google is God – okay, they may be close. To take advantage of tools, you need to use them well.

2. Extend the registration of your domain for at least five years. Google takes not only the historical length of time your site has been around into account, but also how far into the future you have the domain.

3. Include an easy to find contact link, e-mail address or phone number on every page of your website. No explanation needed.

4. Remove widgets that aren’t directly enhancing your website. Don’t get caught up in the whole need to include every shiny web object you find. If it helps the experience for your visitors or helps you in some way, leave it – if not, dump it.

5. Write a unique META description for all of your main pages. Not only does this help you in search rankings, but makes it easier for visitors to quickly reach the pages that are important to them.

6. Use the same color for links throughout your website. Keep things simple so that visitors can quickly find what they are looking for. Make the site useful and they will return – confuse or upset them and they are gone forever.

7. Spell check your content. Nothing takes people out of your online experience faster than your poor speling. (see?)

8. Add ALT tags to all of your images. You will be surprised at how much traffic you receive from images. It is worth the effort.

9. Create a favicon for your website. It may be a tiny 16×16 graphic, but if done well, adds credibility.

10. Make sure that when a visitor clicks your website’s logo, they are taken back to the homepage. This is often overlooked and a major mistake. Everyone expects it – make it happen!

11. Create new, quality content for your website often. The frequency depends on your type of site, but make sure you give people a reason to return frequently.

12. If you don’t have an About page, get one. It may not be sizzle, but it lends credibility and allows visitors to relax a bit, knowing that you are not hiding behind a glitzy sales pitch.

13. Add a search box near the top-right of your website’s layout. You may think you know why people visit your site, but trust me – you have no idea the weird things people will look up. Use the search terms as marketing information too.

14. Ask. Find out from people that have used your site, what they like and what they dislike.

Chris Doelle