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5 Tips to High Performing Websites

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If your website is slow, boring, or hard to navigate, it might as well be down. Visitors have an increasingly short attention span when it comes to time spent on a website. Learn and implement these …

If your website is slow, boring, or hard to navigate, it might as well be down. Visitors have an increasingly short attention span when it comes to time spent on a website. Learn and implement these simple steps to ensure your website captivates your target audience.

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  • 1. 5 Tricks for Designing a High Performing and Engaging WebsiteTable of ContentsIntroduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2Tip # 1: Content is King . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2Tip # 2: Enable Web 2.0 Functionality . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2Tip # 3: Jump on the Social Media Bandwagon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3Tip # 4: Consider Where Your Audience is Located . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3Tip # 5: Optimize Web Server Performance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3About Verio . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 ©2010 Verio/NTT Communications. All rights reserved.
  • 2. Add Value with Easy to Install Applications page 2If your website is slow, boring, or hard tonavigate, it might as well be down.Visitors have an increasingly shortattention span when it comes to timespent on a website –– you’’ve got roughlyeighty seconds to capture theirattention*. A poor showing can not onlycause you to lose a sale, it can cost youyour reputation. Introduction Company press releasesThe days of a purely informational website are at an Upcoming eventsend. Merely providing information to your visitors is New product announcementsnow a less viable option when your competitors are Service or personnel announcementsengaging them with interactive media and increasinglycomplex web experiences. To stay ahead, it’’s important Keep in mind, content includes everything that makesto consider new technology that better engages your website unique, including text, images, videos andcustomers, as well as review how your site is structured, downloads. So when you review your content, be surehow you use images and other assets, and how the to check all of it for accuracy, relevancy and timeliness.hosting resources from your provider maximize Look for typos and outdated information (e.g., oldperformance. events). Also check every page for broken links, formatting issues and missing images, files or videos. AThe following five tips will help you design a high sloppy site will result in visitors questioning yourperforming and engaging website that keeps visitors on company’’s professionalism.your site longer, and coming back for more. In addition, look for opportunities to streamline your content (keeping the average visitor’’s short attention Tip #1: Content is King span in mind). For example, if your web pages areWhen it comes to websites, the saying holds true, particularly long (more than 400 words or three““content is king””. Visitors come to your site for a paragraphs), consider breaking the content intoreason: to learn, shop, share, read, watch, listen, and multiple pages that are more specific to a topic, orultimately, buy. Website content is at the heart of all reducing the amount of information available onlinethese activities, and it can either drive visitors away or and making it available instead in a download.keep them coming back for more. If you haven’’tupdated your website content in the past six months,you’’re well overdue. Both visitors and search engines Tip #2: Enable Web 2.0 Functionalitylike fresh content on a regular basis. Even if your site is As we mentioned before, effective websites do moresimply informational, there are many ways to keep it than simply provide information. The power of thefresh, such as periodically adding: Internet is in its ability to provide an interactive experience. By incorporating Web 2.0 technologies, your website becomes more engaging for visitors* According to a Silverpop landing page study in 2007 because it is no longer a one way conversation (youhttp://www.marketingscoop.com/Article_Tools/Silverpop_Landingpage.pdf ©2010 Verio/NTT Communications. All rights reserved.
  • 3. 5 Tricks for Designing a High Perfoming and Engaging Website page 3telling, and them listening); it transforms the Tip # 4: Consider Where Your Audiencerelationship by encouraging a two way dialogue. is LocatedWeb 2.0 includes a variety of technologies, including With the advent of Web 2.0 technology and socialreal time chat, blogs, RSS feeds, Wikis, photo and video media sites, even small businesses can receive globalsharing, and podcasting. You don’’t need to add all of attention online. If you want your website to performthese functions to your site. Many companies start with well for all your visitors, regardless of their location, youa blog (which also helps with Tip #1, keeping your need to consider the technical environment they will becontent fresh). If you sell products online that coming from. Most developed nations, for example,customers may have questions about during the buying have high speed Internet connections. But in manyprocess, adding real time chat to your site gives developing countries, dial up (56K) connections are stillshoppers a way to quickly get answers while they’’re in the norm. Remote areas may depend on satellitethe mood to buy. connections, which can also be slower than broadband or DSL.If you have repeat customers or a loyal following, youshould consider adding interactive features to your site. If potential visitors reside in an area with slowerThis could include a user forum or ““Wiki”” (user connection speeds, your website will take longer togenerated content area) that enables them to share load, especially if it contains a lot of graphics orinformation and ask questions of each other. Or you multimedia. If you intend to do business internationally,might set up an area for customers to share photos or consider these two options:videos of them using your products or services. Choose a web hosting provider with a global footprint in multiple countries. This will allow you to set up one hosting account to serve Tip # 3: Jump on the Social Media multiple regions around the world. Bandwagon Alternatively, you can mirror your website in multiple countries or geographic regions. ThisYou may wonder what social media sites like Facebook, involves setting up your hosting with severalTwitter and LinkedIn have to do with your website. The providers around the globe, or distributing yourtruth is that social media sites can bring new traffic to static content by way of a content deliveryyour site by getting you in front of people who may not network.find your site otherwise. It can also increase repeatvisits to your site. Either way, when someone visits your site your web pages are served by a provider in their country orMany businesses have simply adopted social media as a region, so pages load faster that they would if served bynew and less expensive way to continue the one way a provider halfway around the world.conversation about themselves or their offerings. Whilethis may increase brand awareness, it doesn’’t take fulladvantage of the power of social media. Tip # 5: Optimize Web Server Performance Your website is an extension of your brand, so it needsIf you want to fully leverage social media, you must go to be reliable and fast –– especially with the increasedbeyond tweeting a link to your latest sale or advertising traffic you’’ll be getting from implementing Tips #1, #2on Facebook. Take time to participate in conversations and #3 above! If your website loads slowly, people willand share information with your target audience. This go somewhere else. And they’’ll take with them awill transform you into a valuable resource instead of negative perception that your company is not as robustjust a company trying to sell something. Plus, it can also as your competitors.prompt you to update your own website with blogposts, white papers, and videos. Of course, when you When developing a website, it is easy to focus on theshare these, the traffic comes back to your site! front end or user experience. But it’’s just as important ©2010 Verio/NTT Communications. All rights reserved.
  • 4. 5 Tricks for Designing a High Perfoming and Engaging Website page 4to consider the actual web server or hosting solution.When you review web hosting companies, you need toconsider the specifications included with your plan. It’’simportant to look at: Amount of disk space, Data transfer rates Resources (such as CPU and memory)The more resources you have, the faster your websitewill load. This is of particular concern if you have a hightraffic site, an ecommerce site, or a site that includesmultimedia; all of which can require greater amounts ofresources to load quickly. Perhaps you’’ll only need a small amount of disk space,data transfer and resources to start, but be sure yourprovider can easily scale your solution as demands andtraffic increase. Selecting a web host that can continueto support your needs is a critical step if you want tocontinue to provide a high performing website as yourbusiness grows.About VerioVerio is the leading provider of Web hosting, applicationhosting and SaaS solutions to the global SMB market.Since 1996, Verio has been committed to offeringoptimum performance and highly secure and reliablesolutions to both retail customers and its expandingglobal network of OEM and viaVerio channel partners.Verio is a wholly owned subsidiary of NTTCommunications, one of the worlds largesttelecommunications companies, and owner of a worldclass tier 1, global infrastructure that spans fivecontinents. This financial and technical strength,combined with business hosting solutions available innearly 200 countries, makes Verio uniquely positionedto service the needs of SMBs worldwide, now and in thefuture. For more information, visit:http://www.verio.com/web hosting/. ©2010 Verio/NTT Communications. All rights reserved.