Home Page Must Haves

Website Home Page Must-Haves

The home page of a website has mere seconds to impress and engage those who visit it. People who visit a website for the first time are usually looking for certain information upfront – information that indicates they are in the right place. When users’ initial questions are addressed right away, they’ll be more likely to remain on the website, look around, and respond to a call to action. Think about what you look for or expect to find on the home page of a website you visit for the first time. Then think about what you do if you are unable to quickly or easily find the information you’re looking for. Chances are, you click away and search elsewhere.

The content on your website home page should inform, build reader confidence in your business, and showcase you as credible and trustworthy. Every business is different, so content will vary from one website to another. But the following nine elements are must-haves for every home page.

  1. Spell out what you do – Inform visitors in simple, straightforward terms exactly what your business does. If the purpose of your business is not immediately clear, people will leave your website and go to one that clearly spells out what they do.
  2. Explain how visitors benefit from using your products or services – Beyond saying what you do, make clear the main benefit (or benefits) your offering provides or the problem it solves.
  3. Client testimonials – Strategically place several customer reviews on the home page, as these highlight your experience and build trust. Testimonials that mention the service you provided and the clients’ satisfaction are all you need.
  4. Awards, recognitions, associations, certifications – These showcase your professionalism and expertise, and give you credibility in your industry.
  5. Overview of service offerings – Mentioning your products and services on your home page and linking them to more detailed information serves you three ways. You: 1) better inform visitors about what you do or sell, 2) make it easier for them to click the link for more detailed information, and 3) help your home page rank higher in search engine results.
  6. Contact information – Don’t hide or bury key information such as your phone number, email address, and mailing address. By providing this information, you let customers know your business is legitimate and that they can easily communicate with you. The footer of the page is where most companies place their contact information.
  7. Social media links – If you also market your business on social media platforms such as Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube, or Twitter, you probably want to get the word out as much and as often as possible. Your homepage should include clearly identifiable icons for each to make it easy for users to Like, Follow, Share, and Retweet!
  8. Images and graphics – Quality images that are unique to your business let visitors know what to expect and go far in building credibility. Use stock images sparingly, and make sure all images are high resolution and sized properly.
  9. Call to action – Decide what you want visitors to your website to do once they’re there. Do you want them to subscribe to your email list? Clip a coupon for the offer of the week? Complete a form for more information? Place a logical and clear call to action for whatever makes the most sense for your business.

A home page should provide upfront information about your business that your target customers most want and need to know. Incorrect or insufficient information either forces the user to click around to find what they want, or worse, causes them to leave the website without looking any further. Even if other pages on your website contain exactly what they are looking for, if the home page is unclear, visitors are more likely than not to click away. And when visitors click away after visiting just one page, the bounce rate for your website goes up.

Look at the home page of your website with a critical eye. Does it contain the information a new visitor needs to understand who you are, what you do, and the value you bring? If not, take time to update the home page to add these critical elements, or hire a professional web design and development company with the digital marketing expertise to make sure the home page for your business makes the best first impression it possibly can.

Philadelphia web design company Perfexion, Inc. specializes in web design and development, including search engine and digital marketing. They are experts at building websites that meet users’ needs and add value to the business they represent. Perfexion thrives on helping clients be as successful as possible. They collaborate closely with you to understand your business and put that information to work in every website they build.

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Technical SEO

Don’t Let Your SEO Efforts Go to Waste

Any web developer worth his or her salt is an expert at both off-page and on-page SEO. Simply put, good on-page SEO means a website contains content that is optimized for certain keywords and phrases so that the site’s search rankings and relevance to users are improved. Good off-page SEO means a site gains authority and relevance by building and effectively managing backlinks from other relevant, authoritative sources.

All that attention and focus on having just the right on- and off-page SEO will go to waste if the technical aspects of SEO are ignored or improperly handled. The following checklist contains recommendations for achieving the best results in terms of your site’s user experience, search engine crawling, indexing, and of course, ranking.

  • Set up and manage your website’s sitemap: A sitemap informs search engines about how your website is structured. Make sure your sitemap is clean/error-free, updated when content is posted or removed, concise so crawls can be more effective, and registered in Google Search Console.
  • Check the pages on your website that are indexed by the various search engines, including those that have been restricted from indexing, to make sure the number of pages indexed is about the same as the number of pages on your website.
  • Use an SEO crawler, not just robots.txt, to check that every critical resource on your website is crawlable and not blocked from indexing. An SEO crawler performs a more comprehensive check that includes CSS and JavaScript files, orphan pages (those that are on your site but are not internally linked), and more that might be restricted but should not be.
  • Enhance the frequency with which search engines crawl the pages of your website during a specific period of time – your crawl budget. Google statistics provide the average number of times the pages of your site are crawled daily, and from that you can calculate your monthly crawl budget. Use that intelligence to maximize the crawls that are being performed. How? By removing duplicate content, restricting indexing on pages that don’t support SEO, making crawling more efficient by adding URL parameters, and fixing broken links and redirects.
  • Audit your site’s internal links to make sure the structure of your site is both logical and shallow. For example, check to ensure your site’s important pages are reachable within three clicks of the homepage (the depth of your pages). When fixing broken links, look for those that could be hidden in link tags, sitemaps, and HTTP headers. Address linking on orphan pages to make it easier for visitors and search engines to find them.
  • Audit your website for HTTPS issues that could affect your site’s ranking. Check the different types of content on pages you believe are secure; if you have mixed content, it could be coming from an HTTP connection that is not secure which, in effect, makes your page less secure and can even stop a browser from loading it altogether. Make sure all the links, redirects, and canonical URLs point directly to HTTPS pages to reduce/eliminate the number of unnecessary redirects, which make a website appear slow and eat away at your crawl budget. If your site is still HTTP, consider migrating to HTTPS, given that Google uses HTTPS as one of its ranking signals.
  • Make sure your site’s pages load in two seconds or less. Google factors speed when ranking a site, and a page that loads quickly and efficiently provides an optimum user experience as well as improves your bounce and conversion rates because users will be less inclined to click away from a page that has loaded quickly.
  • Prioritize the mobile friendliness of your website and perform an in-depth audit of the site. With search queries from mobile devices on a steady rise, Google is planning to change how it indexes website pages. They will soon begin indexing mobile versions of websites first, rather than their desktop versions. Google provides a mobile-friendly test that lets you check a variety of criteria such as text size, plugins, how pages are viewed, and more. The key is to perform the test on every landing page of your site, since Google determines mobile friendliness on a page by page basis.
  • Just as you need to restart your computer for software updates to take effect, you should have search engines re-crawl your website to make sure fixes and changes you make to your site go immediately into effect. You can submit requests to Google and Bing to re-crawl and re-index on a URL basis or on your entire website.

By systematically addressing the technical areas of your website that impact SEO, you both improve the ability of your site to rank well in searches and enhance the user experience across the entire site. The end results are well worth the effort. At Perfexion, Inc. we specialize in making sure clients’ websites are technically sound and perform to the best of their ability.

Note: Thanks to Link-Assistant.com (https://www.link-assistant.com/news/technical-seo-audit.html) for the valuable tips presented here.

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Understanding Search Engine Marketing

Online Marketing: What Is SEM?

Search engine marketing – SEM – is a form of internet marketing in which an online business purchases ads on a search engine such as Google, Yahoo, or Bing, with the goal of increasing traffic to its company website. SEM can be a highly effective and valuable strategy in support of a company’s digital marketing efforts because SEM lets advertisers place their marketing message directly in front of their target audience.

The real power behind SEM is that a company’s ad appears in front of their target customer at the very moment the customer is the most motivated to buy – when they have just performed a search for whatever it is the company is selling or promoting. SEM can also be highly effective when used in conjunction with social media outlets such as Facebook, YouTube, and other online apps.

SEM Paid Advertising

SEM is also known as paid advertising, pay-per-click advertising, keyword advertising, and targeted advertising. The advertiser bids on specific keywords that an internet user – the advertiser’s target customer – might enter when performing a search for a particular product or service. Then, when a search query is performed using those keywords, the advertiser has the opportunity for their ad to appear on the search engine results page (SERP) along with the search engine’s other results.

These paid or sponsored ads can be text-based or they can be more visual and provide potential consumers with information they likely find most useful upfront, such as customer reviews and price. Ads appear alongside other search results on a SERP and are identified as such. Sponsored ads can appear above the list of search results at the top of the page, or they can be located along the right side of the page.

SEM works in combination with search engine optimization (SEO), which involves managing a website’s content and behind-the-scenes site architecture with the objective of improving the website’s ranking and visibility in search engines and on SERPs. Understanding SEO and applying it correctly and wisely is critical to the success of any SEM campaign, since success is determined by how well you, or your web developer, selected and bid on keywords to be used in the paid ads.

Different search engines refer to their paid advertising programs differently. For example, Google’s service is called Google AdWords and also Pay Per Click (PPC), and Bing’s service is called Bing Ads. Google is, by far, the most widely used search engine, but the benefits derived from paid ads through any available search engine are generally the same.

Benefits of SEM

Through search engine marketing, businesses can:

  • Gain new website traffic and improve click-through rates, as paid ads help attract more potential customers – Well-managed ad campaigns rank well in search engine results, which means a company’s ads can appear directly in front of their target consumer at the moment they are searching for the company’s products or services.
  • Trust that the web traffic they receive from paid advertising will be highly qualified – Consumers who click on a company’s ads are looking specifically for what they offer.
  • Set their advertising budget, then pay only when a consumer clicks on the ad.
  • Reach mobile customers anywhere, anytime – Ads appear when customers are out searching (that is, shopping) for the very products or service a company offers.
  • Paid ad campaigns are flexible and can be customized – Target consumers by: geography, gender, remarketing, age, day, whatever aligns with the advertiser’s needs and budget.

SEM requires close attention to know what is, or is not, working. Web developers continually test, monitor, and adjust ads to ensure each ad investment returns the maximum results. They track keyword performance and make real-time adjustments if something is not performing as well as expected.

Web Development SEM Support

Web developers and digital marketing experts should work with businesses to ensure the SEM services they provide will generate results. Web developers should:

  • Consult with and analyze the business – And the competition, and fully understand the business’s target market.
  • Gather the business’s detailed requirements – In terms of the goals for each ad campaign, the maximum budget, and the expected results.
  • Research keywords – With proper analysis, a developer can come up with a list of optimum keywords the company’s target audience might use to search online for the products and services they offer.
  • Properly align budget with each ad campaign – Advertisers often have multiple bid strategies with different amounts of ad spend for each.
  • Place ads and monitor results – Ad testing, monitoring, and adjusting is mandatory to ensure the best results and maximum return on each ad investment.

SEM Goals

The goal of SEM is to increase and enhance a company’s visibility and relevance to targeted users – both customers and potential customers – with the purpose of increasing web traffic, improving conversions, gaining additional qualified leads, and ultimately growing profits. Perfexion, Inc. provides search engine marketing services including establishing and managing pay-per-click campaigns. They specialize in online marketing and understand what is needed for SEM to perform at optimum levels and provide a positive return on every client’s PPC investment. We are a Philadelphia based Search Engine Marketing, web design and development company located in Plymouth Meeting just outside King of Prussia.

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Why Hire a Professional Web Design Company

Why Hire a Professional Website Design Company

Few business owners dispute the need to have a website. How else will current and prospective customers know about the products and services their business offers and the unique value they bring to the market? Or the company’s history and mission? Or how to find or communicate with the business? Frequent changes and updates to a website support a company’s ability to attract new customers and expand into different markets, if desired.

Done right, a website also serves as a forum for business owners to target, reach, and communicate with, desired clients; educate and inform visitors to their site about topics related to business offerings via blogs, company updates, or a FAQ section; and receive feedback, inquiries, and concerns about customer needs.

Some business owners prefer to design and build their website themselves, via readily available user-friendly apps and platforms (although user-friendly is debatable). They might be looking to save money or already have a design in mind. Sound familiar? While these may seem like good reasons to build your own website, by doing your own, you risk losing business if your website comes across as unprofessional, disorganized, not secure—or worse, no one knows your website exists.

Your site may have eye-catching colors, attractive images, and easy-to-read/easy-to-understand content (text). But these are only a small portion of what goes into making an effective, high-performing website. For all the beauty and graphics your site displays, if your website is not coming up in internet searches, the weekend and evening hours you spent building the site were for naught.

Professional Web Design Company

The 4 Best Reasons to Hire a Professional Web  Development Firm
If you’re still not convinced your website needs a professional touch, consider these top 4 reasons to hire a professional web design company.

1. Visual appeal and function – The text, colors, and graphics on your website matter. The look and feel of your website, and how easily users can navigate the pages and find the information they’re looking for also matter. Professional designers will tie these elements together to make sure your website is attractive and functional, as well as user-centered.

2. Search engine optimization – Search engine optimization (SEO) is critical if your website is to be found when people perform an internet search for your type of business on one of the major search engines such as Google, Yahoo!, or Bing. This traffic, derived from organic searches rather than from a user clicking on an ad, is like gold. The the traffic is due to people looking for exactly what you have to offer! SEO involves using both the right keywords and phrases as well as the right creative elements to improve your search engine rankings and generate traffic to your website.

Web designers work in conjunction with web developers, who add the necessary ingredients behind the scenes to ensure a website not only gets found on the internet, but also ranks high in relevant searches.
What is more, web design, along with solid web development, makes use of programming language, behind-the-scenes codes and tags, and SEO (Search Engine Optimization) to set up all the technical aspects of a website.

3. Value-added technology – Every website can benefit from using additional technologies that help drive traffic to the site. These include videos that demonstrate how products work, an RSS feed that provides the latest industry updates, and links to other pages or relevant materials on the internet or on social media, among others. And, when properly positioned and coded, all enhance the ranking of your website for internet searches. Do-it-yourself web designers either don’t include these valuable technologies or they add or place them in a way that does not benefit the business.

4. Results tracking and analytics – A professional web designer will know how to design your website so you get more conversions.  Website developers will drive the actions you want visitors to your website to complete. This includes filling out a contact form, click to another page, call you, or buy a product. The pros will set up your Google Analytics so you can track results via a dashboard. To measure success, you’ll track such Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) as new visitors to your website vs. repeat visitors, number of visits to your site before a user makes a purchase. Other KPIs are bounce rate (how often a user clicks off a page),  time on a page —and many others. By understanding these metrics, you or your designer will know what is working and where you might need to make changes to improve performance.

Be Competitive

If you truly wish to be competitive in the online marketplace, use a professional web design service for your website. The vast majority of businesses today rely on their website—and its optimum performance—for the success of their operations. The value provided by a web design service far outweighs the results you might obtain by designing and managing your website on your own. For more information on how a professional web designer can help your business, contact Philadelphia based Perfexion, Inc. today. We specialize in helping clients market their business online effectively and profitably. We are a Philadelphia-based web design and development company located in Plymouth Meeting just outside King of Prussia. We specialize in making sure clients’ websites are technically sound and perform to the best of their ability at all times.

Contact Us Today!

WEBSITE pfxn.com
E-MAIL hello@pfxn.com
CALL 610-783-7660
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