- Regularly update your web pages with fresh content:
Visitors like fresh content on web pages–it keeps them coming back. Update your websites pages frequently with content that is relative to your viewing audience.
- Validate your web pages:
Search engines seem to like pages that are valid. There are software programs and other web tools that you can use to make sure your pages validate, take advantage of them.
- W3.org Markup Validation
- w3schools.com Website Validation
- W3.org CSS Validation
- Use ALT tags with your images:
Occasionally the images on your page may not load, so it’s always a good idea to specify ALT text for your images. Plus, search engines look at the ALT text when they crawl your web pages.
- Use META tags: description and keywords
The META tags are often overlooked or not included on web pages but they are very important for search engines and indexing.
- Use specific web page titles:
When I first started building websites, I included the name of my website in the title of every web page. This technique is not as effective as uniquely titling each page with a name that is relative to the content on that web page.
- Use an intuitive and simple navigation:
Make sure the navigation that you design is intuitive, appears on every web page, is accessible by every browser and is relatively simple in nature. I discussed this in my Essential Tips for Effective Web Design but it bears repeating anyways.
- Use correct spelling:
When visitors come to your web site looking for information or products, they are going to evaluate your web site’s reputability on how well you use spelling and grammar.
- Use a consistent look and feel on your web site:
How would you like it if every time you drove down the highway the road names changed, the exit signs moved, and the exit numbers were different? That would make driving around and telling others how to get to your house very difficult. When it comes to your web site, you want it to be consistent through each page and section.
- Keep your links current and accurate:
How many times have you gone to a web site and clicked on a link that didn’t work? Enough said.
- Ensure you web pages load quickly:
According to an article on websiteoptimization.com, narrow-band users (dial-up) still make up approximately 30% of active internet users in the United States. That is a significant market share you’ll be cutting off from your web site if you don’t ensure that your website loads quickly.
- Use plain or simple backgrounds for easy reading and accurate printing:
Most browsers don’t print out backgrounds by default which means that if you use a dark background and a light colored text then your web pages may not print out correctly. Using plain or simple backgrounds also provides easier reading for visitors.