How to Optimize Images used in website design for the Best User Experience in Qatar ?

While it’s easy enough to remember Google’s biggest algorithm changes in recent years and the far-reaching effects of each, you may not realize that Google’s famous proprietary algorithm changes hundreds of times per year.

Google and others include page load time and site speed in their rankings for key design metrics. This means image optimization cannot be overlooked in your web design and development processes.

Taking time to optimize images is a win-win for both SEO and user experience. As with every other aspect of web design, image optimization is partly intuitive, partly data-driven best practice, and overall A/B-testable. Web designers should follow these five image optimization best practices:

1. Move image optimization into the initial design phase of the project.

Making decisions about size, complexity, and selection of images at this stage can help ensure that pages aren’t overly “heavy” when they launch.
For example, while not specifically an “image” optimization, the use of a large number of web fonts can add greatly to page load time as browsers load these assets. For an optimal UX, limit your selection of web fonts.

2. Select the appropriate file format for the type of image you have.

The number one mistake designers and developers make is using either the wrong or the same image format for every image on a site. Follow these suggestions to determine the correct format for a given image:

  • Photographs should almost always be JPEG files, as should other complex images with thousands (or millions) of colors, subtle color gradations, and no need for image transparency.
  • Vector images with minimal complexity are often best served as SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics), which offers the bonus of being able to scale images for desktop, tablet, mobile, and retina displays with no loss of quality using a single web asset.
  • Logos, illustrations, icons, and similar images that have fewer than 256 colors are typically best optimized in GIF, as long as they require only mask-based transparency.
  • The versatile PNG format is necessary for images that require alpha transparency and layering. PNG files tend to be larger than the other formats, depending on how well they are optimized.
  • Simple motion without sound — and smaller than a few hundred pixels in height and width — are often best produced as an animated GIF rather than a video file.
  • A large library of vector-based icons that change infrequently may be best served as a CSS2 web font in a format such as TTF/OTF or WOFF.
  • In some cases, drawing or animating content via CSS and JavaScript can be a significant optimization.
  • For collections of images related to a website’s user interface, navigation, and general browser layouts, you may achieve further optimization creating a single larger image “sprite” with all these images and then select appropriate image assets out of that via CSS or JavaScript. This can reduce the number of round trips and new connections required by the browser, although this is likely to become less important as HTTP/2 adoption increases.

3. Optimize images by eye.

Once you’ve chosen the appropriate format, eyeball it to make sure that the image is as compressed as possible without sacrificing quality.

JPEG files employ lossy compression, which means that you must balance quality and file size when optimizing. The difference between a “maximum” 100 percent quality JPEG and a “low-quality” 30 percent JPEG can be astounding. Try taking the quality down low and then dialing it up 10 percent at a time until you reach an acceptable level. Be sure to double-check against the original asset for a final test.

To optimize GIF files by eye, use the minimum number of colors necessary to display your image and test different color palette sizes for quality. The difference between a 16-color GIF and a 256-color GIF can be many kilobytes. Depending on the image, you may be able to reduce the palette a bit further to save space.

When optimizing PNG files, try to use PNG-8 formats wherever possible. These limit you to a 256-color palette, but with the benefit of a significantly smaller file size than a PNG-24 file. Recent tools, such as ImageAlpha, optimize alpha transparency in PNG-8 images, in part by converting them to PNG-8 images that include alpha transparency.

In addition to your typical design tools, ImageOptim is an exceptional application for optimizing PNG, GIF, and JPEG images. Using this tool can easily cut your total image load time in half.

4. Determine what’s best for your website.

Every website, scenario, and audience is different, so there isn’t a specific number that your images should add up to.

The most accurate way to determine this is to calculate the total page weight for your site by summing the size of all of the assets (HTML, CSS, JavaScript, images, video, and others). Then you can use a calculator tool to find out how long content may take to download to your users’ browsers. Note that actual download and render time may vary by 25 to 50 percent more than this estimation.

Having said that, use images under 200KB when possible — smaller file size is always better! Try to get your total page weight well under 1 megabyte.

5. Give those images meaningful names.

Even though we are primarily talking about file size optimization for images, don’t forget the basics. Website images named “red-shiny-car-part.jpg” contain more SEO information than “image1.jpg.”

Effective image optimization looks like a high-performing, quick-loading, mobile-responsive user experience. Other than that, it depends on the site. Engaging, compelling websites like Wolf-Gordon,Bryan Cave, and Winston & Strawn make use of optimized images throughout for an exceptional UX. While great image optimization impacts site performance and factors in SEO, most companies are most concerned with making a positive impression on their visitors. As with any first impression, the most appealing experiences starts with optimal imagery.

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 6 Surprisingly Simple Qatar Ecommerce Content Marketing Tips

It’s really tough running an Ecommerce store these days in Doha Qatar.
Whatever you’re selling, the chances are you are up against some pretty stiff competition especially in Qatar.
And if you want traffic then that means getting backlinks and you don’t need me to tell you that getting links to product pages is a tough ask. So, you’ll be pleased to know that there is a proven and predictable way to build backlinks, build authority and increase traffic to your website.
Best of all – it’s 100% legitimate and Google will love you.

1. Buyer personas
First step is to create a ‘Buyer Persona’. The chances are that you already have a picture in your mind of who they are. You need to know where they live, their income, their job, their desires and their needs – everything that describes them.
Sure, it’s not going to be 100% accurate for absolutely everyone who buys from you. The point is that it is an ideal. These are the people who you will be creating content for.

2. Identify influencers
You can create the world’s most epic content and it won’t count for anything unless it gets eyeballs on it. Sure you can plug away at it for months or even years and slowly build up a following.
But there’s a faster way than that.
It involves identifying influencers in your niche who are going to help you with the heavy lifting when it comes to promoting your content.

3. Content for traffic
Before we look at content, let’s just establish the facts.
Google went nuclear on ‘thin’ websites with little content and questionable linking profiles starting back in 2012. The bottom line in this brave new world is that if you want a good ranking then you need backlinks from reputable, high quality, authority sites. And believe me, these are not given away lightly – they need to be earned.
But fortunately there are several types of content that are proven to get you more backlinks and more social shares.
Here they are:
Authority Guides. We’re talking Definitive Guides, Ultimate Guides and anything that clearly states that you are an Authority on a particular subject. Anywhere between five to twenty thousand words in length they take time to pull together but will position you as a leader in your field.

4. Conversion content
Don’t think that content can only be used to get more traffic. There are proven types of content that work hard at the business end of the funnel – when you have an engaged visitor on your product pages.
Here they are:
Buyer’s Guides. Your Prospects are time poor and they just don’t have the time to evaluate all of the options. A well written Buyer’s Guide puts you in the driving seat by acting as an impartial adviser to them. Just think of all of the sales calls you’ve had or all of the information on your hard drive or in your outbox. It’s all there – you just need to pull it altogether in one handy place. They’ll love you for it.

5. Content repurposing and optimization
Once you’ve created the content don’t think you’re home and hosed. You’ve broken the back of it, but you need to turn your attention to repurposing and optimizing it.
When it comes to repurposing you need to be aware that the most popular content has a strong visual element to it. The reason is that people (especially your Influencers) will prefer to share attractive, well presented content. The facts back this up when you consider that up to 87% of content on Facebook contains images. Also people prefer to consume content in different ways, so repurposing allows you to reach different audiences with the same content.
6. Content distribution
Great content – tick.
Great visuals – tick.
Optimised content – tick.
You’re almost ready to go. Now the important part – distributing your content.
If you’ve done the upfront work to build relationships with your Influencers then this is going to be easy.
First up, you need to give your own audience a heads up. Email your subscriber list (you are building a subscriber list aren’t you?) and notify them via your social media channels.
Give your Influencers a heads up too. Email them with the link, tell them where you’ve included them and ask them to share and comment on it. Don’t be shy to ask – most people are more than happy to promote content that features them, especially if it looks fantastic.
But don’t just leave it there. Put it in the diary and keep promoting it weeks or months into the future. Make use of scheduling tools to automate it on social media as much as you can. The point is to keep it in front of your audience – don’t just think it’s a one-off.

#ecommerceQatar #paymentgatewayqatar #shoppingwebsite #Doha #Qatar
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Website Development Tips for Better SEO - June 2016

If you are investing in a website for your company, there is a good chance that you want to use it to attract the attention of more potential customers.

However, ensuring that your site can be found easily on the web is a complicated science. One of the most important factors is SEO — or search engine optimization — which can determine where your website appears in search engine results.

While rankings aren’t as important as what happens after a potential customer finds your website, showing up in search engines is incredibly important. Showing up for the most relevant searches with high buying intent is difficult.

That’s because there are tons of factors that play into a site’s SEO. In fact, Google has a whole secret algorithm to calculate it (but you knew that).

What you may not be as familiar with is that one important factor that many businesses overlook is the site’s actual development. These five SEO-focused web development tips will help your website get the notice it deserves.

1. Build a Website that is Mobile Responsive

We bet you use your mobile phone or tablet to view websites as much as you view websites on desktop or laptop computers. Everyone does. It’s a trend that’s hard to dispute. Just look at your Google Analytics to find out.

Today, many people are shifting their Internet use from desktop computers to mobile devices (like a tablet or smartphone). So, if you want all of your potential customers to be able see and use your website no matter what device they’re on, you need to design it responsively.

Responsive design uses technology that can detect what size screen and device a page is being viewed on, then present that page in the way that looks and functions best for that specific on-screen environment.

If you’re familiar with web development, you know that happens with media queries in your CSS file. If you’re not familiar, then send this article to your IT staff or development partner.

Responsive design can boost SEO because it helps lower your bounce rate and because Google takes into account “mobile-friendliness” when calculating a site’s SEO score, especially if the search occurs on a mobile device.

2. Keep your Pages as Small as Possible

Images make a website look great, but put too many on the page or don’t reduce their file size and they can also cause a page to load slowly, which detracts from its SEO score.

A good company website balances the need for good, high-quality images with good typography and uses words rather than text in graphics when possible.

Ensure that your image files are as small as possible so that your page loads quickly. One web development tip for this is to resize images before uploading them to your website. Some content management systems resize an image by changing the height and width dimensions in HTML, but they actually are loading the large original image. This is slowing down your website for visitors but also counting against your load times for SEO.

3. Enable Page Caching

Another way to help your page’s load time is to allow for page caching. When your page is cached, it is stored on a visitor’s browser as a static, HTML version of your site.

This means that when a visitor returns to your site, they don’t have to reload your entire page. When developing your site, you can designate whether the page can be cached, who it can be cached by, and how long it can be stored.

It’s also a good idea to enable template caching and query caching for content management systems to speed up your website. Why pay special attention to load time and these technical aspects of your website? A slow website can cost you search rankings, but can also cost you leads.

4. Integrate Social Media Sharing on Blog, News, Press Releases and Downloadable Resources

Having your website shared on social media is a great way to boost its SEO. Make it easy for people to share your content on their social media profiles by including sharing buttons or toolbars. This will allow them to directly place a link to your page somewhere all of their followers can see it, with only the simple click of the button. This is also a great chance for you to take advantage of some free marketing!

On note of caution. Social media icons don’t belong at the top of every page on your website – they belong at the bottom. On specific pages, social sharing buttons need to be small and unobtrusive, but embedded in the content of your page.

5. Strive for Better Usability

Good SEO isn’t just about keywords. You have to provide a good experience to customers who visit your website. Is your page relevant to their web search? Does it match their expectations?

Usability really brings into play several things that you should pay attention to:

  • Content – is your company website a resource to potential customers?
  • Design – is your website well designed and easy to navigate?
  • Development – does your website load in under 2 seconds? Is it properly browser-tested?
  • Responsive web design – is your website readable on a mobile phone?

One metric that you should measure on your high-impact pages is bounce rate. A high bounce rate over 50% will let you know that you need to make usability improvements to a page, because people are visiting and leaving.

A company website can serve many purposes, but one of the most important is to help you drum up more business. By developing with SEO in mind, you can help ensure that your site is a tool for generating new leads and converting more sales.

#WebDesignQatar #WebDevelopmenrQatar #SEOQatar #Doha #Qatar
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