Friday, October 9, 2015

How To Boost Your Website's Accessibility

In order to boost the availability of your domain to the widest possible audience, you should take its accessibility very seriously. It is very important for you to have it at the back of your mind that your website would be accessed by those who are disabled and those who are not. But unfortunately, majority of us do not consider the disabled when building our websites. In some countries, you would be violating the Disability Discrimination Act if your site is not accessible to people with disabilities. As a result, I will reveal top techniques in ensuring that your website is accessible to all - even to those with disabilities.

Be Careful with Your Choice Of Colors: You should consider those who are suffering from color-blindness when developing your website. The most common types of color blindness are Deuteranopia and Protanopia, and sufferers from these cannot distinguish between red, green and similar colors properly. Consequently, you should be careful with the way you use these colors and as a rule, you can use ideal background colors or underline them in order to bring them out. You should also ensure that you maintain a high level of contrast between the foreground and background elements of your domain. The minimum suggested contrast ratio is 4.5:1 and for standard-sized body text, the perfect ratio is 7:1. Also, whenever you have important information, you should make sure that you use a black text on a white background so that everyone can read it, either color-blind or not.

Use A More Descriptive Link: Those who are blind make use of screen readers to read web pages and they may decide to navigate through the links in order to find interesting things. Hence, you should describe your links appropriately instead of just using 'click here' or 'read more' because that is what the user will hear in isolation during navigation. For example, 'click here for more information on free domain names' would be a better option.

Provide Text Alternatives For Non-text: This is very essential in order to enable those who cannot access them change them to other forms like Braille, large prints, symbols or simple languages. For instance, if you have a video or audio on your site, you can include a transcript so that users can download or read on the domain. You can also provide a link to a text-only version of your site and those with slow internet connection would be glad for this.

Use Proper Tab Indexes: The tab index usually generates the order of elements that a user will cycle through when making use of the 'Tab' key. It is important to design your web pages in such a logical order and implement strong hierarchy starting with headings, to sub-headings and so on. When designing a page with forms, you must ensure that all the elements of the form are properly indexed in order to boost its accessibility.

Use Proper Alt Attribute: Alt attributes are used to describe images in HTML language. The alt attributes are read by assistive technologies (such as screen readers), search engines and displayed instead of images when the internet connection is slow or a text-only browser is being used. As a result of this, you should describe your images properly. For example, if an image shows 'students sitting down in a classroom', you should describe it as such and not 'picture of students'.

Enable Access Keys: By enabling access key on your domain, you are boosting its accessibility. Access keys are basically keyboard shortcuts and those who rely on keyboards alone to navigate websites would find them very useful. Even though there is no universal set of assigned keys for users, common ones are S (skip navigation), 1 (Home Page), 2 (News/Update), 3 (Site Map), 4 (Search), 5 (FAQ), 6 (Help), 7 (Complaints Procedure), 8 (Terms & Conditions), 9 (Feedback Form), 10 (Access Key Information), just to mention a few.


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Monday, October 5, 2015

Top 10 Email Marketing Strategies For Your Domain


The role of the email can never be over-emphasized in today’s world despite the craze for the social media. As a result of this, email marketing is very essential for your domain in order to boost its profitability. However, if you want to get the best result in email marketing, there are certain strategies that should be implemented and some of them are revealed in this piece. 


      1.   Formulate An Ideal Acquisition Strategy: Your list building strategy should be taken seriously. It is very important for you to consider various access platforms of the internet. You should make sure that your opt-in form works on mobile because majority of email users access their emails through mobile devices. 

  2.  Make Your Email Mobile-friendly: Since majority of emails are being opened on mobile devices, your email design and content should be simplified as much as possible. If you don’t optimize for mobile devices, you would discover that majority of the emails you sent to your prospects and customers are deleted immediately. 

  3.  Maintain A Reasonable Rhythm: For every marketing effort to be successful, it must be consistent. However, the consistency should not take your audience for granted. The frequency of the emails should be reasonable enough or else you stand a chance of losing a lot of subscriptions. You can increase the frequency of communication at the early stage of a relationship but this should be reduced with time. 

  4.   Personalize Your Messages: Personalized emails yield better results and personalizing has gone beyond just mentioning the name of the receiver in the message, but using many factors like browsing habit, demographics, purchase history, etc., to formulate dynamic contents. Coming up with dynamic contents will give you the opportunity to send different messages to different people based on who they are, what they like and how they are currently engaged with you. 

  5.  Remove Any Friction: Any brick wall that may stand in your marketing effort should be identified and dealt with from the onset. It is very important for you to ensure that your prospects are not burdened with too cumbersome account opening processes so that they don’t abandon them. You should also ensure that the website you are referring them to is mobile-friendly. 

  6.  Don’t Forget To Get Their Permissions: This is very important so that your messages are not regarded as spams. Email marketing is “permission marketing” and if you are able to get your prospects’ and/or customers’ permission, you are definitely going to get their attention at all times. Managing the relationship properly will determine the level of success that can be achieved. 

  7.  Encourage Sharing Via Email: Sharing shouldn’t be for social networks alone, encourage your audience to share valuable information through email. It is not possible to have everybody on the social media, hence, you should consider those who are not social freaks. 

  8.  Make Use Of Predictive Analytics: With both internal and external data sources, you can make use of advanced predictive analysis to anticipate customers’ needs. The use of predictive intelligence will give you the opportunity to discover the blend of content and offers that will most probably generate the best response. 

  9.      Use Video In Your Messages: In order to boost engagement and response rates, making use of videos in your messages is an ideal strategy. For simplicity, you are not going to email the actual video but a snapshot with a play-on button which will lead them to your site where the video is hosted. Generally, users would believe that once they click on the snapshot, the video will start playing, hence, you should activate the autoplay feature in order to meet their expectations. 

  10.  Be Dynamic: Consumers are fast changing the way they read and react to emails, hence, you must respond to these changes accordingly. Consumers now have many ways of accessing their emails – desktops, laptops, tablet devices and mobile phones. Consequently, you must be prepared to manage engagements with different access platforms in mind so as to get the best result.
 



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Olushola George Otenaike is a webmaster, web developer, domain broker, writer as well as blogger and he has been doing all these since 1999. He is the CEO at Netlink Web Developers, publisher of SoFreeDomains and owns many blogs as well as websites. His areas of interest include science, philosophy and politics.

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