Build a Better Website
Here are some tips to build a better website: attract quality traffic, increase your search engine rankings, and retain surfers.
1. Build it, and they will come. Provide interesting content. Unique content. Do not copy or scrape content from other sites: you could be penalized by the search engines, and find yourself in legal problems. Frame the story your website is about, and tell the story through content. Blog, articles, message board, etc. Keep it interesting and written in-house. Update on a regular basis: preferably daily. Update your search engine sitemaps accordingly. Fresh content will drive traffic to your site, and go a long ways to retain traffic by building loyality.
2. Make your webpages load quickly. Critical. Slow loading websites will drive traffic away, and not retain traffic. A good tool to use to assess how quickly pages load is Google PageSpeed. Ideally, pages should load in less than one second. Fast loading pages may index better in the search engines. The recommended tool is the Google PageSpeed Tool.
3. Make your webpages XHTML Valid. Not critical, but still important as it goes a long ways to assure that your webpages are all things to all people. I.e., appear the same regardless of web browser. It can be a lot of work, but it is well worth the effort and time. The recommended tool is the W3C Markup Validation Service
4. Make your webpages mobile friendly. Critical. More and more surfers are surfing using mobile devices (smart phones, tablets, etc.) as people migrate from desktops to mobile devices. It is rumoured that Google indexes non-mobile friendly websites lower to mobile users. You could lose your share of mobile traffic. Nowadays, responsive webpage design / templates are the way to go since they work well on all platforms: desktop and mobile device. The recommended tool is the Google Mobile-Friendly Test Tool
5. At all costs, avoid spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors. Looks sloppy and unprofessional. Re-read each page a few times, and have a few other people do the same. Read each page out loud as this is the best way to catch mistakes. A common mistake is the incorrect use of commas. Writing in another language? For example, you are French, but you are creating a website in English in order to appeal to a larger audience. Have someone fluent in the language (in this example, English) proof each page. Do NOT rely on an online language translator. They are terrible!
That's for starters. We will add more later.