The proper use of images – while only one facet of web design – is something that’s often overlooked until it becomes a problem. Whether it’s causing people to bounce off of your page due to unattractive image use, leading to trouble with your SEO due to poor use of alt tags or getting you into legal trouble by stealing images, it’s important to pay attention.
If you need assistance with web design or want advice on the use of images, let us know. We’d be happy to chat!
1. Organize Images On The Page
When browsing online, you might open a new page and see an image half above the bottom of your screen and half below. This means the designer didn’t take into account whether the photo made it above the fold or not. Even worse is when the photo is below the fold, because there isn’t anything visual for the website visitor to grab onto.
It’s best to make sure you have one chief image at or near the top of your page or blog post to capture attention, and it should be completely above the fold. You can check this by viewing the page on a few different screen sizes – also, with mobile devices it’s acceptable for the image to not be above the fold due to the narrowness of the screen.
Then a second image or third can be added below the fold as needed to illustrate the purpose of the page.
2. Use The Alt Tag
An alt tag is a piece of data you attach to the image. It helps search engines understand what the picture is (since they can’t see) and it’s also helpful for the blind and hard of sight as they utilize assistive technology which reads the page out loud to them. Without an alt tag, it’s as if the image isn’t there or relevant for search engines (which hurts your SEO) and for the blind and hard of sight (which eventually will be a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act).
An example of an alt tag would be “young-boy-rides-horse-in-meadow”.
If you leave the original name of the file – 51381238532351.jpg – or fail to describe the photo well – “boy-horse” – then you’ve gained nothing.
3. Use The Caption
A caption is a way of further explaining an image. While not always needed, particularly complex images which aren’t stock photos may need a caption. If the photo is of staff or a particular location, it’s important to identify the people or place properly.
The caption is also used to provide documentation of where a photo is from . . .
4. Source And Link Your Photos
Lastly, be sure source and link the photo back to it’s original photographer, unless you or someone you employ took the photo for your business.
If you take a photo off of the internet, you need to be sure it’s safe to use. Most photos out there belong to someone. You wouldn’t walk out and pick up a dog off the street to take home, because 99% of those dogs aren’t strays.
Certain websites will provide you with photos which are in the public domain, which means you can use them freely. It’s still important to note the web address of the source in the caption, and link back to it to cover yourself. The same goes for photos you may buy off of a service like Adobe Stock Images. While you own the photo, it’s still nice to make sure you’re covered incase anyone ever asks.
When you’re ready to redesign your website or build the first website for your business, there are a few things you’ll probably look for: samples of work, expertise, partnerships with Google, something bigger than a one-person shop, etc. When you’re looking for that web design company who is the perfect fit for you, don’t forget to check out your local area for great design companies like us! Here’s why.
Customer Service In Person
The biggest benefit of a local web design company is meeting in person with not only the account manager, but also the web designer and content writer.
A national corporation may be able to put you on the phone or let you communicate by email with your designer, but there’s no way they’ll fly you or the designer halfway around the country or world to work together in person.
With a local design company like Cohlab, you can come down to our office or we can meet at yours to discuss the specifics and get a solid footing off of which to build the perfect website of your business.
The design of a website is largely based off of your industry, but it’s also based off of the needs of your customers and differentiated from your local competitors. A local web design firm is going to know your competitors and understand your customers at a local, personal level a national firm never will.
Also, the content on your website needs to be fresh and engaging and specific to your customers needs. That’s why at Cohlab our writer will meet with you to get the full story, and follow up with any questions they may have as the content for your website is created.
Besides website design, it’s also important to have pages directed at certain search terms, groups and cities in order to better draw them in through search engine optimization. This is an additional service we provide as a local web design company which can help you get ahead of your competitors who use a nation-wide web design firm.
For local website design, give us a call. We’re ready to meet in person with you.
We’ve mentioned before how more people are browsing the internet and completing Google searches on mobile devices than on desktops, and how this number continues to grow. But Google recently began another initiative to serve people a better mobile experience when using Google search. This initiative is being rolled out now, but won’t be fully in effect for a few months.
In some cases, website designers create two versions of a website: one is served to a searcher if they are using a desktop computer, and another is served if they are using a tablet or smartphone to search. These two separate sites often have different amounts and types of content on them, which means Google has two different places to look and two options to serve people. And for the most part Google will serve the desktop site in search results, which can cause confusion once the searcher arrives and the desktop content doesn’t exist on the mobile site.
Why Is This A Big Deal?
Google is solving this by beginning to index mobile-websites first, meaning if a mobile site exists, they will prefer this over the desktop site, even if the searcher is on a desktop computer.
If you have a separate mobile and desktop site, and your mobile site doesn’t mirror your desktop site perfectly, you’re going to need to do some work to keep your rank in Google search results.
Wait! Don’t Panic.
Don’t go and call your web designer just yet. In fact, if we are your web designer, you’re good to go as all of our websites are what we call ‘responsive’, which means they are one unified site which adapts to fit whatever screen it is displayed on, whether desktop, mobile or movie screen. Responsive websites have nothing to fear with these changes.
If you don’t have a responsive website, you may have a great web designer who is keeping your mobile and desktop versions of your site up-to-date and in sync. You’ll want to get in touch with them to find out if these changes will affect you, and you’ll want to verify by looking at and using your site on both a desktop and mobile device.
If you don’t have a mobile website or a responsive website, you’ll definitely need to do some work to optimize your site to be mobile first, which means it should be built first to serve those on a mobile device and then desktop visitors.
If you’re not sure how your site is faring, click here to see if your site is mobile-friendly.
If you’re worried about how your site will do as Google continues to implement changes to make the web more mobile-centric, contact us and we’ll be happy to talk you through some different approaches you can take.
Web development is a complex process, and with eCommerce web development there are many more factors to take into account.
Instead of users coming to a website to learn about a service, then calling or emailing for more information or an appointment, an eCommerce site contains the entire sales process, and needs the requisite abilities and security to make sure the transaction goes through smoothly, quickly and safely.
eCommerce web development isn’t something you want to trust to just any web developer. A firm like ours can help you build a responsive, secure eCommerce website, so contact us for more information!
Let’s go over 4 traits you’ll want to look for in an eCommerce web development firm.
4 Traits To Look For In An eCommerce Web Development Firm
When browsing the internet on your phone, you’ve likely searched for a product, clicked on a search result and been taken to a hard to navigate website. It might even take you to the home page instead of the product you were looking for!
These problems arise when a website isn’t designed to be responsive. An eCommerce web development firm will make one website which will react to whichever kind of device it is being viewed on rather than build a mobile and a desktop site.
2. Site Optimization
Statistics show that 40% of users will abandon a website which takes more than 3 seconds to load. This is especially true for mobile users, who make up nearly ¼ of all eCommerce sales.
In order to keep those customers on your site you’ll want to optimize it to run as quickly as possible by using an eCommerce web development firm. This is not only on the ‘back-end’, but also in the way information, pages and menus are organized and displayed.
It’s important to make sure your eCommerce web development firm knows the importance of having a search function on your website. 30% of visitors to eCommerce sites use the search function to find the products they need.
The firm should also be able to employ ‘faceted search’, where users can sort results by color, size, price, manufacturer, etc.
All eCommerce web development firms should make sure the sites they build support SSL to encrypt information. This is true not only for credit card and other payment information but also personal information like addresses, phone numbers, emails, etc.
After internalizing these 4 traits, you’ll be able to find a great eCommerce web development firm to work with. Be sure to contact us if you’d like more information about eCommerce websites, or are ready to create or reimagine yours!
Web marketing can be tricky business, especially if you don’t have the staff or bandwidth to devote to it.
Digital marketing firms like ours have the expertise and time to devote to working on your web marketing and search engine optimization to help bring you new and repeat business. Let’s look at 4 ways you can help your business succeed with web marketing, either on your own or with the help of a digital marketing firm.
4 Ways To Simultaneously Succeed With Web Marketing
Your Google Knowledge Card might be a potential client’s first interaction with your web marketing, or it could be how a returning client is able to quickly access your phone number or website.
A knowledge card, seen here, is a way for Google to quickly display the gist of a business to a searcher on any device. On a larger display the knowledge card appears on the right-hand side of the screen, on a smaller device it appears above search results but below other forms of web marketing, like paid ads and map results, if there are any.
Having an up-to-date knowledge card allows you to display your correct phone number, address, accurate hours, as well as reviews, photos and other great information. This is a really effective web marketing technique to make sure your company is known, especially over other companies with similar names.
2. Back-End Optimization
Another huge piece of web marketing is optimizing the many parts of your website you might not normally think of adjusting.
Page descriptions don’t actually appear on the pages of your website, but they do appear in the Google search results, and so needs to be an accurate reflection of what people will find on the page when they arrive; the same goes for your page title. Both of these also need to be between a certain number of characters to fit in the space Google provides.
The text on your page should also be separated by headers, defining different sections. Google likes to see headers, especially when one contains your chosen keyword/phrase for the pages. The headers also need to cascade in size, depending on the topic.
Images are another important piece of web marketing. The images should be unique to your website, as well as tagged with an “alt tag” and “caption” which are both accurate and contain the keyword for your page.
And don’t forget to make sure any links in your page are working and are related to the topic. If you have a blog on how KFC chicken is the best fast food in the world, there shouldn’t be a link to the dolphin page of your local zoo on that page anywhere; for effective web marketing, the links should be to another page you have written about different fast food chicken and a link to the KFC page.
3. Content/Keyword Optimization
Content should pretty much be over 300 words for any page, but different lengths are good for different types of pages/blogs, so you’ll need to experiment.
Each page should have it’s own, unique keyword/phrase related to the topic of your website as a whole, and the keyword/phrase should make up about 2-3% of the words on the given page for effective web marketing.
Another key driver of web marketing and traffic to your website is your online reputation. You’ll need to get control of reviews of your business from across the web, whether the reviews are on Google, Facebook, Yelp, Yellow Pages, Houzz, Fandango or elsewhere. Ask your happy customers either in person or via email to give you a review on their chosen site, and be sure to collect those reviews on your website. At Cohlab, we actually have a great tool, Cohlab.Reviews, which can do a lot of this automatically for you.