Larry BraunerHow well is your blog or website performing?

This past November, I wrote, “Some web sites clearly have it together. They have lots of traffic and appeal to visitors.

“Other sites aren’t bad. They have good potential. With a few tweaks here and there, they could enjoy much more traffic and appeal much more to their audience.”

Blog or WebsiteI listed 10 Easy Ways to Improve Your Blog or Website and indicated that there might be more suggestions to follow.

Here then are ten more tweaks (presented as problems and fixes), bringing the total to twenty. Hope they’ll keep you busy for a while. ;-)

  1. Key Content Hidden “Below the Fold” - You have seconds to capture a visitor’s attention. If visitors need to scroll down to view vital content, you’ll most likely lose them. Similarly, if you have an important widget, such as a Facebook fan page widget, place it where it will be visible without scrolling down.
  2. Long Flash Intro - I hate sitting through flash intros designed to impress. Don’t you? Why would you want to subject your visitors to long (or even short) flash intros? Flash intros are dead time. Why not instead impress visitors with your knowledge and the relevance of your content?
  3. Clutter - Some websites have too much going on; they look like patch quilts.  Others have ads that fill every nook and cranny. What can I say? Such sites are overwhelming.
  4. No Call to Action - What do you want your visitors to do when they visit your site? To buy? To subscribe? To leave a blog comment? Let them know what you expect, and if your request is reasonable, they may very well comply. If you don’t ask, they may not know what to do, and they’ll leave, perhaps forever, without taking action.
  5. Distracting Ads - Pop-up ads, blinking ads, glaring banners, sexy ads, scripts that forward to advertisers’ sites after a few seconds, inappropriate auto-playing audio, etc. I dare say, these are “the thousand natural shocks that flesh is heir to.” Make sure your ads don’t interfere with your content. If your ads are your content, then please disregard everything you’ve ever read on this blog.
  6. Images Not Labeled - Make your visitors and the search engines happy. Whenever possible, describe your images using alt and title parameters in your img tags. If all this is gibberish to you, worry not. Your web development or HTML guru will know what to do.
  7. Hard to Navigate Site - Don’t confuse your visitors. Keep your website simple and provide a site map if you can.
  8. Difficult to Understand - Write for your audience. Not everyone will have an advanced degree, some could have nothing or as little as a certificate from an online school – unless of course such people are your target audience.
  9. Spelling and Grammar Mistakes - There ain’t no excuse for bad spellin and grammar.
  10. Stale Content - Fresh content is good for SEO and for attracting repeat visitors.

Implement as many of these ten website improvements (and the ones listed 10 Easy Ways to Improve Your Blog or Website) as you’re able to.

How time flies! Already, we’ve come to the part of the blog post where people usually leave a well thought-out comment. :-D

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20 Responses to “10 More Easy Ways to Improve Your Website”

  1. WiseClicker on February 8th, 2010 1:18 am

    I especially agree with the Flash Intro comment. A very simple way to push away your visitors.

  2. Eunice on February 8th, 2010 8:02 am

    Very good list. I’m annoyed by Flash intro’s, too. What are these people thinking????? I think I’m guilty of one or two of these website “don’ts” myself on one of my niche blogs. A lot of ads, no clear call to action except to subscribe to my newsletter. You’ve inspired me to take some time to clear it up a little.

    Many thanks!

  3. Thomas George on February 8th, 2010 12:19 pm

    Couldn’t agree more with you there Larry, some of the blog sites I’ve visited have been horrendous, clearly looking out only to gain SEO and add revenue.

    Actually, I’ve come up with a nice idea for generating followers and specific traffic. I talked with my boss and showed him the benefit of putting some training documents on my blog. That way, instead of training up new interns with a long document specific to their skill set and what they’ll be doing, our staff covers each topic to some degree, and then they just pick and choose which additional subject matter applies to them.

    They also follow the blog for updates. I know it’s a small number and very specific, but at least it saves me the time of having to re-explain it all each time a new staff member starts!

  4. Dr. Erica Goodstone on February 8th, 2010 12:42 pm

    Larry,

    I am so impressed with the amount of information and insight you have learned and absorbed about social media, online marketing and creating a powerful web presence. Your comments in this post are so true about all those web site distractions. The current trainers (of a body psychotherapy training program which is part of my life’s work) created a new web site with a flash entrance, soft colors, hands - but no immediate information about their skills and knowledge. And they used a marketing service to help them, and probably spent a lot of money. I was upset as soon as I looked at it. To me, the whole thing has to be revamped.

  5. Lorraine Arams on February 8th, 2010 2:08 pm

    Thanks, Larry. I must say, though, that even journalists make grammatical mistakes and typos . . . and they’re paid! I think most people will forgive an error if your content is good such as this article which provides the reader with good information. (No I didn’t see any mistakes here.) I think it’s best to get your content out as well done as possible, don’t you?

  6. Larry Brauner on February 8th, 2010 2:16 pm

    I’m glad you’re all behind me, especially on the flash intros.

    Thank you once again Erica for your kind words.

    Lorraine, I do agree. However, let not the prevailing mediocrity become a benchmark of excellence.

  7. Rob on February 9th, 2010 12:33 pm

    Some good tips, particularly the part about data above the fold. I’ve struggled with this, because I run a webcomic and the primary page images are large and continue lower into the fold, requiring a scroll. I don’t want to knock down the resolution and cram everything, so I’m not sure what I should do.

  8. Larry Brauner on February 9th, 2010 1:29 pm

    I would think Rob that if enough of the image was above the fold that they would scroll down to continue reading.

  9. doing business on February 9th, 2010 7:08 pm

    Thanks for sharing this nice info. :)

    Very useful article.

  10. Carla J Gardiner on February 9th, 2010 7:21 pm

    Hey Larry,

    A couple of things jumped off the page at me in your above article. First and foremost, I detest bad spelling, call me old fashioned, but it is one of my pet peeves, so thank you for bringing that to the fore.

    Secondly, I agree, I have a video on my home page, however I’ve opted to “not” have it automatically play, you must choose to play it. It is annoying to me to have a video start right up, blast my thoughts right out from under me. I click it off and leave the site, you’re right, I don’t want to do that to my prospects, I only get one chance.

    Last, but not least, I appreciate the “stale content”, I’ve started adding a new testimonial, or rewording my content periodically for this exact reason.

    Thank you once again, for excellent training, tips and ideas to help us prosper in a highly competitive marketplace.

    Carla J Gardiner

  11. Larry Brauner on February 10th, 2010 1:00 am

    Carla,

    Try to go beyond new testimonials and rewording of content. Say something new and fresh.

  12. corrie on February 11th, 2010 9:57 am

    Thought I’d pop in and let you know that I follow you, but seldom comment. I appreciate all your posts and advice. Thanks.

  13. Daniel on February 11th, 2010 5:11 pm

    Something else you should add is Google Buzz. It might have just came out yesterday, but it looks very promising.

  14. Diamondd on February 14th, 2010 11:50 pm

    I completely agree. I used to think that the only thing that mattered were links, keywords, meta tags etc… NOT TRUE! Although it is very important and holds heavy weight, The little things really pull it all together. I run a very successful social experiment called Group Smash. Its a place for blogs, podcasts, online web shows. I did all the SEO and such but it was not until we tightened all the loose ends that we overlooked did it all come together and now we went from 200 visitors a month to over 1000.

  15. JuneZach on February 19th, 2010 1:56 am

    I noticed that you misspelled the word “spelling” in point number 9. Did you do it on purpose? :D

    Thanks for these great tips! :)

  16. Larry Brauner on February 19th, 2010 10:02 am

    My sense of humor. :)

  17. Rica Thompson on July 8th, 2010 11:53 am

    Thanks a bunch for sharing. They are, sure very easy ways to improve a website. I particularly wanted to highlight number 5 about distracting ads. I hate those things..If a site has such distraction, I immediately leave and never visit again.

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  20. Ericka Carnevale on February 10th, 2012 9:53 am

    I love this post. Reading it is like having a lecture with the expert. As always, I’ll implement your tips to improve the rank of my websites. I hope I would have a positive result.

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