What I Learned About Website Optimization at CEProLive!
During CEProLive! today, we chatted with Relidy about best practices and worst no-nos for integrator Web sites. Until 6pm ET today, get all the free advice you want.
If you think you don’t need a lesson on Web site optimization for your CE Pro business … then why are you still using Flash? Why aren’t you updating your content? Why do you still show products that were discontinued six months or five years ago?
Here are some of his words of wisdom:
Putting the ‘Pro’ in CE Pro
You know that your Web site should be professional looking, but what does that mean? “The Web site should be modern looking and easily navigable,” Bally says. “Products and services should be easy to find. Keeping the site current means having up-to-date news and a current look.”
He adds, “This might mean having to redesign the site every five to 10 years, but with websites having replaced the phone book, this is often the first impression that potential customers will receive of your company.”
What the heck is a CE Pro?
Explain exactly what products and services you offer, says Bally: “Remember that most of your visitors have very little idea what an audio video security integrator does.”
Bally says the worst Web offense by CE pros is “to leave your website stagnant. We have seen many that are showing off products from companies that went out of business years ago.”
Why do they let that happen, we asked.
“Most likely,” Bally responds, “because they lost the employee who knew HTML.”
For that reason, Bally recommends working with a Web site engine or provider (like Relidy, for example!) with a content management system (CMS) that “makes it easy to update news, products, services, etc.”
Goodbye Flash & Frames
We all hate them, so why do so many CE Pros still launch their site with an annoying Flash graphic? “Flash splash pages where popular about 10 years ago,” says Bally, “but with the introduction of the iPhone and iPad, Flash has become obsolete.”
He adds that a Flash intro page “severely affects how search engines view your site.”
A site with frames is another no-no, according to Bally.
Special Sites for Mobile
Remember when so many content providers created special sites optimized for mobile devices? CE pros need not worry about such things today, says Bally: Several years ago (in the stone age of cell phones) a lot of companies built a special “mobile” site. This is no longer necessary with the large screen phones becoming popular.”
Bally says that an integrator’s PROJECTS page is visited at least twice as many times as any other page on the site. He suggests, “Integrators should always try to take as many pictures at the job site and even hire a professional photographer for the bigger projects.”
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Julie Jacobson is founding editor of CE Pro, the leading media brand for the home-technology channel. She has covered the smart-home industry since 1994, long before there was much of an Internet, let alone an Internet of things. Currently she studies, speaks, writes and rabble-rouses in the areas of home automation, security, networked A/V, wellness-related technology, biophilic design, and the business of home technology. Julie majored in Economics at the University of Michigan, spent a year abroad at Cambridge University, and earned an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin. She is a recipient of the annual CTA TechHome Leadership Award, and a CEDIA Fellows honoree. A washed-up Ultimate Frisbee player, Julie currently resides in San Antonio, Texas and sometimes St. Paul, Minn. Follow on Twitter: @juliejacobson Email Julie at firstname.lastname@example.org
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