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Web development and design has been changing by leaps and bounds for years, and 2015 will be no different.
Many small businesses are under the impression that if they have a decent web site built, then that is the end of it for a while, but, it is really the beginning.
Without a continued effort to improve and grow a web site, it risks the possibility to become stagnant in Google.
We have developed some crucial web design tips for 2015 to keep your web site from being passed by the Google Bots (Google’s web crawling bot also known as a spider).
Update your Site Content Regularly
Web site that are slow to update their content risk becoming stagnant. To avoid this, get on a regular schedule for updating content on a regular basis by adding new content, new photos, blog posts and more pages to your web site. The more that your site is updated, the more likely the search engines will crawl the site.
Create Site Maps
No one likes it when someone makes them work harder then they need to, this holds true for the search engines as well. Google, Bing, Yahoo and the like, do not like to guess what the plan is for your web site is. Creating a simple .xml site map giving the ranking, priority and the frequency, will give the bots a true map as to how the site is run and what should be looked at first.
Avoid Duplicate Content
Your web site should contain content that is not copied from other sites. Search engines not only can pick up on that really quickly, but you risk getting your web site banned or put in a lower site ranking. By duplicating content on the web, you are only repeating what has already been said. Stand on your own and show the world your expertise by creating original content regularly for your web site.
Reduce your Site Loading Times
Make sure that you are hosting with a good hosting provider that has low down time. Most reputable hosting companies now boast a solid up time of about 99%. If your web site is down for too long, Google notes this and your site is crawled less frequently then someone who has a good uptime.
Optimize Images Using Proper Coding
Images are so important on your web site. Good quality photos that have been not only adjusted to the proper size to reduce load times, but, are set to the proper format as well. Know when to use a .gif, .png, and a .jpg. Also, your photos need to have the alt tags filled in as well as title and descriptions. Give the photo a useful name as well. Naming them “image1.jpg” is not a good name. Try instead “cheeseburger.jpg” instead.
Avoid Cookie Cutter Web Design
I am not sure how many times we have ran across a client who has a web site developed using a template build for their industry and then come to us and wonder why they have little success with it. It is silly to expect that your web site will be any different or treated any different then your competition if the only thing that a potential client has to rate you on is your price because your web site is the exact same other then a couple pictures from theirs. Your business needs a custom web site that reflects the uniqueness of your brand.
Search Engine Optimization
Your web site needs to have at least the basics in Search Engine Optimization done to stay competitive. Titles tags, meta data, sub titles, alt tags, .xml site maps and listing your site with the major search engines is KEY to any successful web site.