Scary-Good Websites

#FPF – Week 70

Happy Friday the 13th!

To commemorate such a special day in October – Jason and I would like to share our list of what makes a scary-good website by today’s standards.

We’ll try not to get too geeky on you, but if you have questions just ask!

And now, in no particular order:

Optimize “Title” Tags

It used to be that meta “keyword” tags were the number one thing to focus on, (but we humans ruin everything) and began stuffing too many keywords into every page to hack the system and improve our ranking.  No more.  Now, everything is based on timely, relevant useful content.  Your title tags should encapsulate the content found on that page and not try to come across too spammy with lengthy stings of keywords.  Optimal title tag length (at the time of writing this) is under 60 characters.

Utilize OpenGraph

Released in 2010, OpenGraph is a means of connecting and sharing data with Facebook.  The series of meta tags can be leveraged by each page of your site to provide unique information about that section of your site and pull that into the associated post within Facebook’s system.  This makes for a richer sharing experience on FB and aims to increase the engagement with the content you release.

Optimize for Speed

One of Google’s main algorithm foci for this year has been page speed optimization.  This relates to how fast content is served from your host, but also how light-weight your images and scripts are.  CSS and javascript files should be “minified” and images optimized/smushed to reduce the time it takes for the user to download them to their browser.

Your server should be able to serve content quickly and efficiently, while leveraging technologies such as browser caching and Gzip compression.

Demand Security

Budget hosting providers often skimp on firewalls and proper security protocols (and personnel) needed to keep you and your visitors safe from cyber threats.  It is important that you are running up-to-date versions of your site scripts and that your site host uses best practices for keeping your sensitive content away from prying eyes – like disabling the ability for someone to search the contents of open file directories.

Optimize for Mobile Experience

Google has recently released that more that 50% of the search queries on their platform are now being done on a mobile device.  That being said, it’s incredibly important to ensure that your mobile experience is on-point.  It’s not just about shirking things on the screen down to fit on the smaller screen.  It’s about considering how the user flow on mobile differs from a tablet or desktop browsing flow.  Example, users on mobile may be outside of their home or office – looking for your phone number or address in order to travel to you (so make sure those things are easily accessible on mobile!).

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Ok, ok…  I know… This went way geekier than I was expecting, but these things are super important in today’s web world.  If your website is more than 3 years old it is most likely prime for a major overhaul.  We are entering a very interesting time in the world of marketing and content creation.

If your tools aren’t matching the efforts being put in by you and your team it’s time for an update.

Thank you for reading this and have a killer weekend!