7 Tips for Writing Your Home Page

More people will see your website than will ever see your office. Since the first page most of your visitors will see is your home page, it’s also the most important page. Your home page has only 3 to 5 seconds to capture people attention before they will bounce to another site. Your page must have the right amount of text with the right graphics to grab the visitor’s attention. They are searching for products or service websites because they have a need or a want. Help them find the information quickly and easily to determine if you can provide them a solution.

Homepage design tips ideas

Here are some tips for ensuring your home page is effective:

1. Keep it concise.

People don’t read websites. They quickly scan to determine if the information they want might be available. Provide the most important information first without a lot of facts and details. Make your content concise and focused. Provide links to inner pages for in-depth coverage.

2. Use keywords.

Use the right keywords that people use to search for related products or service. Content is still king for search engines determining what sites to rank on the first page of Google. Using the right keywords and providing fresh content is vital.

3. Write copy from the reader’s viewpoint.

Visitors don’t care about you. They care about themselves. You are important because you can help them solve their problem. Count how many times you start a paragraph with “I” or “we.” If it is more than one it’s too many.

4. Easy to Use.

Your visitors should be able to instantly determine where to click on your site to locate the information they want. Hyperlinks should be easy to find. Use good descriptive phrases for labeling buttons.

5. Personalize.

Online videos and logos that show awards, memberships etc. allow people to know how you can help.

6. Use headlines and bulletins.

Long paragraphs of text turn readers off. Provide informative headlines to guide visitors and the search engines to the most important keywords. Bullets break up long-winded paragraphs and guide the reader. Bullets allow people to quickly scan information to find the information they need. Hypertext links can be added to allow visitors to find more in depth information.

7. Proofread your copy.

Errors in grammar, spelling and punctuation detract from your professionalism. Proofread your work, and ask others to do it too. An extra set of eyes may catch mistakes you miss.

Developing Long Lasting SEO Takes Time

Good things come to those who wait

Patience is a virtue in search engine optimization. Placing paid sponsored ads in the Pay per Click (PPC) area via Google AdWords can achieve almost immediate results but SEO does not produce immediate results. You won’t get your return on investment a week after SEO starts. However the long term benefits of SEO often out weight the almost instantaneous results of PPC. This is one reason that the two often work well together in a campaign.

Optimizing your site for your targeted key phrases won’t get you to Page 1 overnight. You won’t find all your keywords rankings in the top 10 on Google in 19 days (despite some claims you read), nor will you get significant traffic improvement after an hour of SEO consultations. SEO is like boiling water: you don’t get a hard boil the moment you turn on the burner… you have to wait for it.

Boiling water on the burner

The process of optimizing a site can take months or even over a year, depending on how competitive your area of practice and your geographic target. SEO is an ongoing process with growing measures of return. The return in SEO is good, but you’ve got to be willing to invest the time to let it happen.

Developing a Proper Base Takes Time

Hours of research, developing the proper site architecture, and making the site user friendly must all be completed prior to the actual optimization of specific pages. Keyword research, research on your specific product or service and your specific targeted geography, competition research, and more, must be completed before any optimization can begin.

Every website has different construction, design, layout, history, and speaks differently. No two sites are the same; therefore no research is the same. Some elements of the research can be applied, but you can’t just take what works for someone else and apply it to your site. You don’t get ahead by cloning a competitor; you get ahead by outsmarting a competitor.

There Are No Magic Bullets in SEO

Many businesses have quality websites. To get the search engines to rank you higher than other businesses competing in your same product or services, it is important to do all the little things right. There is no one thing you can do that will send you to the top of the rankings. You must do a series of small things right over time. Overall website construction including “Site maps”, help both search engines and visitors quickly and easily get to the information that is important on your site.

Up against a similar site, these things can help you keep visitors engaged with your content and prevent them from jumping off to a competitor. It’s often the small things that can make the biggest difference. Providing unique content offers value to visitors, videos give people an understanding of you, your personality and FAQ that address real issues are some of the examples that separate you from the rest.

Even the design and navigation of the site play a major role. The easier it is for visitors to find their way around your site the easier it is for the search engines to crawl and index all your web pages.

Why Good SEO is so Important

I thought that for my first post for the month of May, I would write about why SEO – Search Engine Optimization is so important for all websites. My goal is to make things as simple as possible for new site owners to understand.

Good SEO

Image Credit to searchengineland.com

When people do a search, they’re usually looking for specific information.

Less than 10% will look beyond page 1 of the search results returned so your goal should always be page 1 and then continue to build towards a top 5 ranking which is above the fold (seen without scrolling down).

Whatever niche or market you are in there is going to be competition so don’t limit your efforts to just a keyword, also target 3-4 word key phrases. A common request by many Sri Lankan website owners, who has asked me to rank for a single keywords like jewellery, mobile phone or apartments. Key phrases are much easier to rank high for than one or two word keywords.

So, if you wish to run any form of online business, your primary role is to get recognized by the major search engines. SEO is really the only way to do that.

Something else to consider is that Google, Yahoo, Bing  and Ask account for over 95 percent of all global internet searches. Google is by far the largest and accounts for roughly 70-80% of all searches.

Good SEO is not only about ranking high and getting traffic, it’s about ranking high, getting traffic and having exactly what the user is looking for.

SEO is an ongoing process and it starts the second you decide to register a domain. Domains that are keyword rich will be much easier to rank for.

Don’t try and take shortcuts. Take your time and do things the right way and you will be rewarded in due time. 99% of SEO services out there aren’t worth using. Read and research and do it yourself. It will take time, but you’ll know it was done right.

SEO is NOT about cramming your website with every possible keyword. If anything it will get your website penalized with Google.

Make sure your website is clear, easy to read and easy to navigate. I see many new webmasters using white text on dark backgrounds and while that may work for some sites, they do not for most. Think about this, when was the last time you saw a newspaper or magazine with white text on a dark background? Never!

Use a free tracking tool like Google Analytics to see how your site is performing for your main keywords and phrases. You’ll also be able to see any errors that Google may be having while crawling your site.

Don’t ever stop working on building your site’s popularity. Take at least one day of the week and devote it to adding fresh content. If your homepage doesn’t change much, you can still add content with a news feed or by submitting articles to article submission sites. As your site grows, so will your Page Authority and your rankings will go up in the SERP’s.

Looking at various website’s of reputed companies, hotels and businesses in Sri Lanka, a BIG question I have is “Why don’t you do Good SEO?

Picking a SEO friendly Domain Name

They say all the good domain names have been taken and for the most part that is true. I see a lot of new webmasters searching for days to find a good domain name to register, what they don’t realize is that there may be a much faster and better way to get a good domain. The first thing you should do is make a list of the main keywords your domain should have. It will make ranking high for niche much easier in the long run.

SEO friendly Domain ExampleThere are millions of domains available in domain markets and the benefits of an aged domain are countless. I wanted a domain name that had some SEO value and I didn’t want to spend much money on it. The first place I looked was GoDaddy and found it with a Buy it Now of only $.99. So I got what I wanted without spending much money. You won’t always get the domain name you want that cheaply but there are some good ones out there for a good price. The most I’ve spend for a domain was a few dollars.

It was no secret that Google was taking the age of a domain into account in it’s algorithm. It’s also no secret that newly registered sites usually end up in the Google sandbox for a year or more. So definitely try and find an aged domain that has a clean history. It’s important to make sure the domain you’re going to purchase is clean and did not have a bad reputation before.

Another thing to consider is the .tld of the domain. Any webmaster would pay a fortune for a .gov or .edu domain but sadly those are not available. Your first choice should be a .com and if that’s not available try and find a .org or .net. You should avoid anything else. I have a few .info domains that just don’t seem to do well no matter what.

Step 1 for your new website is to do a search for a good domain name in the domain market.

If you would like assistance or suggestions in picking a SEO Friendly domain name, please contact me.

Infotel 2015 Sri Lanka’s Premier ICT Exhibition

Infotel 2015

It’s time you get your devices and systems up and running as INFOTEL 2015  unfolds this November.

Infotel IT exhibition Sri Lanka

Organized by the Federation of Information Technology Industry Sri Lanka (FITIS), South Asia’s Premier and Sri Lanka’s largest ICT exposition “INFOTEL” will be hosting its 14th edition from 20th – 22nd November 2015 at BMICH, Colombo.

INFOTEL 2015 will be targeting  to connect citizens not just through education and information, but also by providing to its end consumers a whole new world of intelligent devices and systems.

You can join the #INFOTEL2015 conversation on Twitter here.