Should you be using video on your website?  It is a question we get a lot.  Video makes sense for many businesses.  Using video on your site can be a great enhancement and an excellent tool.

Online video helps deliver viewers to a site and is a good way to keep them there.  Studies show that video increases SEO rankings significantly and thus really helps drive traffic to a site. Once at the site, video delivers a more personal interaction.  The combination of visual and sound capture the audience’s attention and boosts information retention. Video makes people stay longer on your site. When they stay longer, they are more liable to click on other links and investigate your site more deeply.

Video reinforces your brand.  As the old adage goes – A picture is worth a 1,000 words.  Video allows you to say a lot in a short time. Everything in your video sends a message to the viewer. If you are in an industry with many similar competitors and products, video can help you stand out as unique. Video gives web users information delivered fast and made simple.

Video increases a brand’s recognition. Whether it is used to describe and show the functions of a product, to introduce a company, to convey thought leadership, for online seminars and conferences or for advertisements, videos are an effective way to gain recognition of a brand.

Online video doesn’t have to be very expensive to produce.  There are many ways to produce video to use on your website.  Production costs have dropped and it can be a cost effective way to add a lot to your site for a relatively small amount

All in all, video can bring a lot of value.  More and more businesses are adding it to their sites as they realize what it is worth.  Take time out to look at your business’ site and the benefits video might bring.  The 1,000 words added by these pictures might mean thousands more in dollars.

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Broken links are links that lead to pages that do not exist.  They happen more frequently than one would like because most site owners are not focused on making sure all the links on their site work.  We know that link checking can be a chore and a lengthy one at that – but checking and fixing your site’s links although tedious can have many benefits.

Broken links make for a bad user experience. How many times have you been on a site and received an error message?  When a visitor clicks on a link and it goes to a “404 page” or “page not found” it makes your site look sloppy.  It says you aren’t paying attention to your contents. If you don’t pay attention – potential buyers may not either.  Your customers or readers may become frustrated causing them to leave much sooner than they expected and sooner than you might like.
Broken links are harmful to SEO. Working links help search engines navigate your site.  When search engine spiders crawl and can’t find their way around your site because of broken links – they can’t index it — causing it to drop in rankings.  SEO is improved when all links are working and updated.  It naturally follows that a site is more likely to get increased page views when search engines are noticing it.

Lastly, broken links can also cause pages on a site to load more slowly than they need to.  Even if the slowdown is only slightly slower – it may hamper your site’s traffic.
There are a couple of ways to find and fix broken links on your site.  Web administrators can use tools available in Google Analytics for finding broken links or work with a web development professional.  However you do it – fixing broken links will be valuable for improving your website’s 2013 performance.

 

 

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Speeding up web pages or having them load more quickly is important to any site.  There are several reasons for this and all can add value to your business’ web performance.

First, search engines value fast sites. The faster a web page loads the more value it has to a reader and thus search engines will often put a higher value on your site and thus rank your site slightly higher.  Two sites may have good SEO and useful content – but if your site’s page loads just a few milliseconds slower than your competitor’s page – the search engine might give them additional points and they would rank above you in search results.

Another thing to consider is that more and more customers are viewing your site on mobile devices. Mobile users often have slow connections and some may still be using even slower older phones. Users today expect a website to load quickly. Most people will leave for a competitor if the page takes too long to load. Ignoring mobile users or users of any kind is not a good idea.

Slower pages can also effect bandwidth.  Many of the things you can do to optimize your pages for speed will also affect the bandwidth your pages take from your customers. If your page takes longer to load because of its size, it can push them over the limit. This can make your site look bad. While the bandwidth caps and throttling that happens may be caused by the cell phone networks, but most customers aren’t going to associate the problems they have with a website with their cell phone network, they are going to blame the site they are on.

There are many things a web professional can do to make your site load more quickly.  They can optimize images, removes extra tags and spaces, delete comments, combine files, external style sheets and scripts. Anything you do so boost speed helps.  Even the smallest gains can be important.

 

 

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