Kickass Website & Usability Tips

Posted by Kate Jurras on Tue, Apr 19, 2011

Guest post by Jake Rainis, Metropolis Creative.

Conventions of the web are always evolving, but in the past year or so, it seems as though the standards have changed drastically. It is important for companies to take their web presence seriously and keep up with the latest online trends and technologies.

Don't let your site collect dust

Constantly keeping a website up-to-date with fresh content and driving visitors to that content is important, because it shows your audience that you are active, it tells Google you're publishing new relevant content, and most importantly, it increases site traffic.

With more and more websites popping up every single day, Google is continually revising their algorithm to weed out the clutter and ensure search accuracy. Search optimization now goes beyond having keyword rich content and page titles. Google has been working hard this past year to enhance the search experience by integrating social networking and multimedia into results. Beyond just returning relevant sites, Google now searches news, videos, pictures, and blogs for related content. If you're logged into Twitter or Facebook, it will even tell you what people in your community think about a search result. The goal is no longer just to optimize your site for Google, it's also about proving to others that your site is current, relevant, and offers value. With this new heavy focus on community, the key to a solid web presence is to be always creating new content on your website and social networking sites to engage your visitors.

Spread the love

A lot of websites with great content suffer from having no way to share it. The content could be well received by the audience but if they are not given an easy and accessible way to broadcast it, there won't be much buzz. Allowing your visitors to share your content on their Twitter feed or "like" it on Facebook is an effective way to get the word out. The more people who share your content, the bigger your community gets, and you'll be far more likely to acquire dedicated visitors.

Speed up your load time

With the introduction of HTML5, CSS3 and countless javascript libraries (like Jquery), lightweight code is now capable of easily handling video, animation and dynamic styling rather than relying on imagery or heavy technologies like Flash. As a result, pages are able to load significantly faster. Google takes this into account and will rank your site accordingly based on its load time.

There is a great Firefox add-on called YSlow that grades a webpage's load time based on many different attributes, and provides helpful details on how to strengthen that page's load time.

Mobilize

Internet use in the mobile world is increasing rapidly. Data use is now a standard with any smartphone on the market. Have you optimized your website's mobile experience? Using CSS3 media queries, providing your visitors with a smooth mobile experience is easier than it ever was. You can even use the brand new jQuery mobile to bring javascript functionality to handheld devices.

Refresh your site design

Websites get old—it's inevitable. Like fashion, what was in last year just ain't that cool anymore. But that doesn't mean that your site needs a complete overhaul from scratch. It's likely that there are a lot of things on your current website that are working well for you. Making small adjustments to enhance the user experience doesn't necessarily mean a lot of work.

Having a website is certainly a commitment. There's always work to be done, but it doesn't need to happen overnight. With a little attention every now and then, you can keep your website fresh and up-to-date.

About Metropolis Creative

describe the imageMetropolis Creative is a design shop located in Boston's South End. We specialize in web design, graphic design and brand boosting. On April 26th, 2011, we'll be holding our Third Annual Boston Extreme Website Makeover event at Red Sky in Fanueil Hall. We'll be doing free website consultations all evening, so be sure to stop by for some advice on how to enhance your website!