I was looking at my County website today to check out some material I needed for a project I am doing. At the bottom of the page of the Hillsborough County, Florida website (www.hillsboroughcounty.org/index.aspx), I noticed these links:
After poking around a little, I decided that several of their links would be great for updating commercial websites, as well as non-profit sites. It seems to me that you could easily make your site more search engine optimization -friendly, add some interest, and refresh your content without too much trouble.
Translate Site: Make your website available in more than 20 languages.
I wondered how many websites have readers whose native language is not English. Wouldn’t they love to be able to easily translate the site into their language with a click of the mouse? Well, Google has an easy answer for you if you want this feature.
Google Translate is a wonderful tool http://translate.google.com/translate_tools that translates your website for readers. In order to make this happen, you have to add html code to your website. Google’s help page http://translate.google.com/translate_tools explains how to manage this in a flash. You’ll need someone who knows html code who can do this for you.
The translation is not perfect, and does not match a professional translator doing this for you. However, it does a pretty fair job of translating Western languages such as Spanish or French. It’s not as successful with Eastern languages such as Chinese or Japanese. My guess is you will get the main jist of the page, but not many of the nuances that English provides.
Benefit: You show your readers you are attuned to their needs, and that you know that writing in their language makes it much easier for them. They will be pleased at this type of personal interest.
Apps Download: Add New Interest to your Site with a Mobile Apps Page.
You may want to link your readers to interesting mobile apps that relate to your business.
For example, if you are a restaurant owner, you could have a link to the mobile app called Evernote (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.evernote.food) which lets users take pictures of your meals, the restaurants where you eat them, and the people you are with,. See more about Evernote at: Evernote Food – CNET Download.com http://download.cnet.com/Evernote-Food/3000-31713_4-75728498.html#ixzz1xnE0oa4X.
Or, you might be a web designer trying to add zip to your website for prospects. You can have an apps page, and send them to the Google Analytics app at http://analyticsapp.com/ to give them mobile access to Google Analytics for their website.
Once you decided which apps you want to add to your site for new content, add a link on your webpage to the I-Tunes store to purchase it. Once the link goes to there, you can have
- a full description of your application
- a picture of how the app is displayed on a mobile phone
- the requirements to download the app, and
- customer ratings from satisfied customers
You can do the same thing with Facebook.The Hillsborough County website’s Apps page has links to both ITunes and Facebook to download mobile phone apps that are relevant to their organization.
Custom-Designed Mobile Apps Add Zing
On the other hand, it you want a custom-designed application, building one is not a straight-forward matter, and you’ll need a mobile application developer to help you.
If you are looking for an idea for an app for your business, see the Small Business Trends article at: http://smallbiztrends.com/2011/03/101-small-business-web-applications.html. They have a list of “101 Small Business Web Applications You Must Check Out”, ranging from hiring and team building to video marketing. Ideas will start flowing from reading their suggestions.
Facebook Apps are also a good way to build traction. Encourage participation from your fans by adding applications to your Facebook page through the Facebook Application Directory. You can add a link on your site that connects to Facebook.
Facebook has a demo page where they show you samples and how-to’s. They also have a section on best practices, guidelines, and design patterns. See: http://developers.facebook.com/docs/bestpractices/ for more information.
Mobile Site: Convert your site to a mobile site for easy reading.
And, now that we are speaking about mobile apps, what about turning your own website into a mobile site for your readers?
First, consider how you want to leverage your mobile site within your larger desktop website. You want fresh useful content for readers, but you may not want everything from your desktop site on your mobile site. If you’d like an education about constructing a mobile website, look at Duo Consulting’s blog (blogduoconsulting.com). They always have interesting and thought-provoking posts on mobile websites.
Our friend, Google, has ideas about converting your website for mobile phones. See http://fonegigsblog.com/2010/04/19/how-to-convert-your-website-into-a-mobile-site-using-google/ for a list of fast ways to convert. And, of course, they have their own tool called Google Mobile Optimizer. There are several others on this list, all with their own set of bells and whistles.
What is the next thing you want to add to your site to make it more seo-friendly, and to freshen your content? Please share your thoughts.
Photo 1 is courtesy of: www.hillsboroughcounty.org/index.aspx.
Photo 3 is courtesy of: http://analyticsapp.com/