Inc. Magazine came out with a list of 11 Ways to Improve Your Website that we tripped across recently. So we thought we’d give our thoughts on the list. Please note that we like Inc. Magazine and we applaud their effort in creating this list. However, they are not a web-based company and that should be kept in mind when reading the list. Also, this list may be a bit dated already – but some of the advice is proving to stand the test of time.
Once you read their article, come back here and read our responses:
- AKA Know who is visiting your website and how they are getting there. This info is gold. Did you know that Google uses over 200
- Know your competitors
- Mentioning or linking to competitors sites can help your search ranking when someone does a search for their company name. Sidle up and reap the rewards.
- Be in charge
- Relegating your website updates, layout, design, and message to the intern is a very bad idea.
- Recognize your best customers
- This slide makes no sense, but does seem to refer back to the Analytics. A better slide would have been: Feature Client Listings are a good idea and help new customers relate.
- Small changes may net big results
- A good idea, but who has the time to tweak stuff? We recommend adding relevant and timely content. If you want to mess around with buttons sizes and colors – go for it, if you are an eCommerce site and are trying to get people converted from shoppers to buyers. Otherwise, keep adding content.
- Boost your search ranking
- Setup a customer forum
- This is one we don’t agree with. Unless you have a product that people need to discuss, the overhead and nightmare of managing users and keeping list spammers out is not worth the trouble. Sites like this only work ‘at scale’ meaning if you aren’t THE destination then chances are no one will find your site or discuss your products. Example: If you sell plumbing supplies, do not setup a customer forum. However, if you’re hellbent to do so, go to ning.com and get your feet wet.
- Keep it simple
- I’ve met Craig Newmark. The fact that his site is popular has nothing to do with the lack of graphics. The key point to remember here is to make sure your website loads fast and is easy to get around. The best advice we have is to remember people don’t “read” webpages, they scan links and images. Google “reads” the website and indexes accordingly. In other words, humans want bullet points and few words. Search engines want lots of related words. Find the balance between the two.
- Create an avatar
- Again, one we don’t agree with. A better recommendation here would have been to create a video about your company that is less than 2 minutes long.
- Offer Amazon-style recommendations
- This is great even if you don’t sell products on your website. The idea is to give people other options when they are done with a task. For instance, after they complete a Contact Form, you can put “thanks for submitting your information. We’ll get back with you soon. In the mean time, would you like to sign up for our company newsletter or read about our company history or perhaps download a demo of our blah blah blah. All those phrases are links to other areas of your website. They’re called “calls to action” and they are the key to keeping people on your site for one more screen.
- Build a widget
- What? um, no.
Watch the full slideshow on Inc. Magazine’s website.