With summer in full swing, you may find yourself spending more time perfecting your grilling technique than, say, working on your website. For the record, we heartily approve of this shift in priorities. But if you still want to keep improving your site, there’s a way to do it quickly.
We’ve compiled these five-minute tips that will help your site without keeping you glued to a screen for too long. Some of them might be things you didn’t even know you could do. They help your SEO, improve your site’s design, or just add that small finishing touch that makes it look like your website has been getting TLC all summer long.
So read this post, tackle a five-minute tip, feel good about yourself, and then get back outside!
1. Add a favicon
A favicon is the little icon that appears in browser tabs and helps identify your website. People also see your favicon if they bookmark your site. A favicon is a great way to help people pick out your site at just a glance, especially if they have a lot of tabs open at the same time.
If you don’t install a favicon, you’ll just see the default blank favicon on your site. Nothing wrong with that, of course, but it’s so easy to install a unique favicon that it’s surprising more people don’t do it.
If your logo has a distinctive shape, it could be a natural choice for your favicon. You might also choose a stylized version of the first letter of your website name. Or an illustration of your own.
We recommend uploading a favicon in the .ico format because it’s compatible with the most website browsers. You can quickly convert a .jpg or .png to an .ico using a free service like http://www.favicon.cc, http://www.html-kit.com/favicon, or http://www.convertico.com.
Favicon files don’t need to be big at all—we recommend 16×16 or 32×32 pixels in size, and 8-bit, 24-bit, or 32-bit color depth.
Once you have your .ico file, go to Settings > Website > Favicon in your Site Admin. Click Browse, select the image from your computer and click Upload. Voila!
2. Hide your login link and any unnecessary footer links
While it’s convenient to have a log in button ready to go at the bottom of your web page, most of your website users don’t need to see it. That’s why we make it really easy to hide it, and doing so is a nice finishing touch to polish up your website.
If you’re a JimdoPro or JimdoBusiness user, you can go to Settings > Website > Hide Login. Once you hide this link, you can still log in to your website by appending “/login” to your website address (e.g. http://www.yourwebsite.com/login).
While you’re at it, there might be other links in your footer that you can hide to reduce unnecessary distractions. If you don’t want an About link or Sitemap link at the bottom of your page, for example, you can hide them by going to Settings > Website > Edit Footer. If you have an online store, you may have other links that you can hide by going to Settings > Store > Settings.
3. Get your navigation to fit on one line
If you’re using a template with a horizontal navigation bar at the top, you may see that it’s breaking into two lines. Ideally, these horizontal navigations are designed to be on one line only—they are easier to read this way, and often the template design “breaks” if the navigation goes onto two lines.
If your navigation is breaking onto two lines, there might be some menu items you can remove for a more streamlined look.If yours is breaking onto two or more lines, it means you have too many menu items (we recommend about 7) or that the words you’re using as menu items are just too long.
To fix this, you can easily shorten the text in your navigation to see if you can get everything to fit on one line (think “Where Are We Located” vs. “Location”). Or you can do a little rearranging to cut down on the number of navigation items (by creating drop down menus, for example). Read more in our Jimdo Tip on how to get your navigation onto one line.
If you really don’t want to change your menu, check out a different template that doesn’t have a short horizontal menu across the top. For more on choosing the right template, check out our blog post How to Pick the Perfect Template.
4. Add one H1 heading to the top of each page
A Large Heading element (also known as an H1) does more than just make text bigger on your website. It’s a tool to help tell search engines (and users) what your page is about. That’s why using a Large Heading isn’t just an aesthetic choice. It can help your SEO and usability too—a win-win.
As with many topics in the SEO field, there are differences of opinion on H1 headings. Our recommendation is to use one Large Heading element at the top of each page, and no more than one. For other headings, use Medium (H2) or Small (H3). The idea behind this approach is that each page should have one main topic (the H1), which can then be broken down into subsections, sort of like an outline. Using headings in this way breaks up your text and makes it easier for people to skim.
You can think of the text in your Large Heading element as the basic title of your page. It should ideally be relevant to the page’s content, and also contain some meaningful keywords. Instead of really generic headings like Services or Products, you might consider something more descriptive, like Writing and Editing Services or Handmade Bicycle Products.
And again, make sure you use the actual Heading element to add an H1, rather than just making your text bigger with the Style Editor. The Heading element adds an “h1” tag to your website code, which is more meaningful to search engines.
5. Fill in your SEO Site Title and Page Titles
One section of a typical Jimdo Site Admin that doesn’t get much love is the SEO Settings. Ask a Jimdo Support Team member, and they’ll tell you that it’s one of the most commonly overlooked parts of a person’s website.
If you haven’t explored this part of your site settings, you might be surprised to realize how quickly you can make use of it. To get started, click on the SEO icon in your Site Admin.
Filling out these settings will drastically improve your search engine ranking (surprise, surprise) and also improve the way your site appears in search engine results—essentially providing more complete information to people scrolling through search results, making them more likely to think “aha!” and click on your site.
Your Site Title is the “name” of your entire website. It mostly stays behind the scenes, but people will see it in the top of their browser window or tab when they’re on your site (next to the favicon you just installed, ta da!) and they’ll see it in search results, as the words after the dash.
You’d typically make your site title the same as your company name, blog name, or website name. You don’t need to overthink it—just something simple is fine. For example, on our blog the site title is “Jimdo Blog.”
To set your Site Title, go to Settings > Website > Site Title.
JimdoPro and JimdoBusiness users can then set the Page Title for each page of their website. This is the text that goes before the dash in search engine results. It can be the same as your H1 Heading (which you’ve already put on every page—for the win!) or it can be slightly different, but it should still describe what’s going on on this particular website page. If you’re targeting a certain keyword, make sure that goes in your Page Title.
For extra credit (since it may take longer than 5 minutes): Page Descriptions
You’re already in your SEO settings, so you might as well fill out your Page Descriptions too (also called meta descriptions). This is the text that will appear below your Page Title in search engine results. While Google and other search engines say that they don’t use this text to determine your site ranking, it’s still really important. Why? Because it gives more detail on what someone can expect to find if they click. In that sense, it can help you attract more people.
In your SEO settings, type in a couple of sentences here that describe what’s on the page, using naturally-occurring keywords as appropriate (no keyword stuffing…it won’t help you in the long run).
6. Add Alt Text to your images
Why bother with Alt Text?
Search engines can do a lot, but they can’t “see” images. The text you put in your Alt Text field will help search engines get an idea of what your image is about, and improve your search engine rankings for those keywords.
Alt Text (also known as an Alt Tag or Alternative Text) will make it more likely that your images will show up on Image Searches. And it helps fully optimize your product pages if you have an online store.
Alt Text also helps visually impaired people use and understand your site.
With all these benefits, it’s well worth the few minutes it will take to add Alt Text to your images.
To do so, click on your image in Edit Mode, and then select the little tag icon. Fill in your Alt Text with a brief description of what’s in the photo. Ideally, whatever you write would help someone who can’t see the image understand what’s going on. Here are more tips for writing Alt Text.
Using naturally occurring, truthful keywords will also give you that SEO boost, and make it more likely that your image can appear in Image Searches.
7. Add customized social media icons
It’s easier than ever to get social media icons that are an exact match for the style of your website. Check out http://customizr.net/icons/, which has all the basic social media icons available for free, and lets you choose the color, opacity, shape, and size.
If you’re looking for something even more stylized, take a look at some of our favorite resources for free icons.
There you have it. Seven tips, five minutes each…think you can get through all of these in 35 minutes? Well, maybe not. But if you go through them bit by bit, you’ll be improving your site in no time, without missing too much of the fun stuff going on outside.