1. Keep It Simple
Beyond 400-600 words, heading tags, a Call To Action or two and a list of recent posts a blog or news website doesn’t require any extra content. From an SEO perspective any extra images, videos or Flash may actually have you penalised.
2. Use A ‘Subtly Bold’ Color Scheme
Sounds like a contradiction in terms – right? Think cigarette ad campaigns of the 80s. They often featured black and white imagery with one or two highlights of striking color. The reason for this is simple – the eye is drawn to that area where it focusses rather than being shunted about all over the place. Similarly a web page derived of cool blacks and greys, especially if graphics are placed on a white background, looks striking with say a blood red phone number as the Call To Action.
3. Think ‘Repetition’
Viewers love elements that are consistent and predictable. There is no point in reinventing the wheel unless that is the reason for your website. Don’t make every page exactly the same – leave sidebar elements off gallery pages for example – but ensure a clean, congruous dark web links layout is used throughout which is in tune with your content
4. Be Aware Of Browser Dimensions
It sounds obvious but many people view the web on laptops – sometimes tiny little laptops or even smaller devices. ‘That’s their problem’ you say but it can be amazingly frustrating to discover a website which seemingly has all the answers only to find it is the size of Australia. Tame those widths to a maximum of 1000px and most laptops and other mobile readers should be able to display your content with no worries
5. Keep File Sizes Small
Everyone has broadband now but that’s no reason to get slack with keeping file sizes small. Quite often broadband is as fast as people think, especially in Australia as of early 2010, and graphics and other media can take a while to load. Take advantage of optimisation tools in software such as Photoshop and encode all videos down to the smallest possible file size. People are far more likely to be forgiving of low quality than they are of slow streaming and download speeds. If you have the time and resources upload a high definition alternative to your You Tube account (so that your own bandwidth isn’t taken up) and post a link to it. That is also good from an SEO perspective.
6. Use Web Safe Colors
It may look fine on your screen but unless you follow the rules and use web colors you risk your website looking very different across the whole spectrum of monitors. Unlike with print design you won’t often come across problems trying to upload CMYK images or non-specific web colors but from an aesthetic point of view it is a good idea to keep within the web safe palette.
7. Use External Code References
Large volumes of code are bad for SEO and slow down the browser and cause cache issues. It isn’t hard to learn how to make references to snippets of code which you can place in the same root folder (or in any location provided you enter the whole link). Once you’ve got the hang of it your source code can look as minimalist and groovy as the layout of your web pages. Voilà!