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Google is constantly changing their metrics for ranking sites based on SEO searches. As a business owner, this constantly means you have to keep up with those changes to outrank competitors. Is a site which is SEO (keyword) friendly, and mobile navigability still a top priority? Or, has making a site easier to manoeuvre, and having faster loading rates more important? Regardless of the industry your business is in, if you want to rank atop the search engines, you need to make your site user-friendly. These are a few ways in which you can do just that, and improve site rank on Google, and other search engines.

1. Limit restrictions - 
You know those annoying popups which require you to input your email before a visitor can actually view your site? Or those annoying banner ads forcing visitors to click a link to move forward? Well these are things which are restricting your page from being user-friendly, and are in fact turning visitors away. Make the site as "limit-free" as possible. Remember, you are dealing with people, not programmers. Make the site as easy to use, navigate, and find content as possible.

2. KISS (keep it simple stupid) - 
In terms of having to create a username, make sure you make these easy for visitors to create. If they need to include: numbers, letters, symbols, etc, certain people are more likely to avoid creating a username. Also, make using features on the site simple. Allow visitors to "checkout" as a guest, rather than having to create an account when shopping online. Or make it easy for them to save usernames (and passwords if they choose to do so). This limits how much work they have to do when visiting your site, and makes it more likely they are going to visit again in the future.

3. State it up front - 
Lets take a shopping site as an example here. If you sell goods to consumers online, but do not ship to certain countries, clearly list this on the main page. Or if you only accept Paypal as a payment form, inform visitors of this on the homepage. It not only limits visitor frustration (who can't order after having gone through several steps to reach the checkout page), but lets visitors know what is required, before they can shop on your site.

Regardless of your niche, industry, or end-customer, user-friendly sites are desired by all site visitors. In order to make your site a little easier to navigate and use, consider including a few of these programming features, when developing your online site for visitors.

How To Speed Up Your Website's Performance

As a website owner, you should never underestimate the impact site speed has on traffic, conversions, and revenue. Research conducted found out that 47% people expect a website to load in two seconds or less, and 40% of those participating in the survey said theyÕd likely abandon a web page if it takes longer than three seconds to load.

So, before you release your website to proverbially Òfend for itselfÓ out there, follow these quick steps to improve its performance.

Top 5 tips to boost website performance

1. Use CSS in place of images: It doesn't come as any surprise that high-quality images cause a dip in loading speed of a page. However, using CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) will enable you to create highly quality preview visuals without the need for images. As a result, your website will load faster due to less load coming from rendering large images.

2. Optimize images: As a general rule of thumb, it can be said that larger the image, lower is the load speed. If the area where the image is to be placed has a maximum width or 300 px, you should crop the picture to 300 pixels wide and save it at 72DPI. Then save your image in an appropriate format including, JPEG, PNG, SVG, GIF based on whatÕs needed.

3. Optimize for mobile users: Mobile users are different from desktop users typically want data in bits and pieces that make sense. Optimizing design for mobile devices is a great way to gain a competitive advantage since there are so many websites that are failing to keep up with expectations of mobile users.

Here are few things you can do to make your site friendlier:

¥ Use CSS3 instead of image graphics to stimulate effects

¥ Eliminate all unnecessary image assets

¥ Use adaptive images fit for smaller devices

¥ Make design to be mobile-centric

4. Simplify code my minimizing the role of HTML, CSS, Javascript: To enhance your websiteÕs performance, itÕs crucial that you get rid of line breaks, extra spaces, and indentations in your code to make the pages as lean as possible. Do these tasks by using tools like YUI Compressor, css minifier, Google Closure Compiler, etc.

5. Make Javascript External and CSS to improve load speed: By using external files, you can use the pages load faster because CSS files and JavaScript are cached by the browser. Alternatively, if you utilize CSS in a page, place the CSS in its HEAD element. This should make the page appear as if it's loading faster while it loads progressively.

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