Your website has a beautiful design with tons of useful content but there may sill be scope for improvement in other areas. For instance, does your website support Live Tiles? Can regular visitors search your content from their browsers? These are small things but they collectively add up and can surprisingly make a big difference to your website.
1. Build a Windows Live Tile
With Windows 8.1, people can pin your website as a live tile on to their Windows start screen. This is a live tile so it will automatically pull new stories from your site’s RSS feed and may even show them as notifications.
Go to buildmypinnedsite.com, upload your site’s logo, add your RSS feed URL and it will generate the meta tags that you can put in the HEAD of your website temmplate. See Scott Hanselman’s blog for the more technical details.
2. Add OpenSearch to your Site
Most web browsers now let you search any website directly from the address bar without having to go through Google. For instance, in Google Chrome, you can type a website URL (like labnol.org), press the TAB key and then enter your search query to find related pages from that website.
You can link to the OpenSearch XML (see example) from your site’s HEAD and your site’s search engine will automatically get added to the user’s browser when they visit your site the next time. The Chromium website has more details how you can include OpenSearch in your website.
3. Add a humans.txt file
You know about robots.txt but the other text file that is also gaining popularity is humans.txt. You need to place the file in the root directory of your website (see example) and it is expected to contain information about the different people who are behind that website.
4. Include Touch Icons for iOS & Android
You should upload touch icons for your website and these will be used when someone places a shortcut of your website on their mobile homescreen. The touch icons may have your site’s logo or even the initials so that users can instantly relate them with your brand.
Use the iconogen tool to generate the various touch icons for Android and Apple devices. You can even go with a single touch icon and use redirection as mentioned in the WordPress optimization guide (see #12).
Also see: Search Shortcuts for Android
5. Add the Homescreen Call out
If you have ever visited the Google Maps website on your iPad, you may have seen a prompt that points to the share button of the Safari browser inviting you to add a shortcut to the Maps website on the iOS homescreen.
6. Allow RSS Auto-discovery
RSS feeds are alive and there’s a section of Internet users who still prefer to read stories in their RSS Clients.
If your site offers RSS feeds, you need to include them in your website’s header so that browsers and RSS clients can auto-discover and subscribe to your feeds. All you have to do is include this line of code anywhere between the <head> tag of your website template.
<link rel="alternate" type="application/rss+xml" title="Blog Title" href="Feed URL"/>
7. Implement Google+ Authorship
If you haven’t connected your website to Google+ yet, do it now.
There are at least two advantages – one, your profile picture will start appearing in Google search results next to your articles (which may improve click-through rates) and second, Google may put more trust on articles tied to verified online profiles and it could mean better search rankings.
8. Insert the Frame Breaker
Some websites that link to you may display your pages inside an IFRAME when those links are clicked. About.com does this and the previous version of Digg would also display external links inside a browser frame.
9. Put QR Codes in your Print Stylesheet
Yes, people do print web pages but the problem with printed pages is that there no easy way to link the paper with the source. How does someone know where a page was printed from?
That’s where QR Codes can help. With a little tweak to your print CSS, QR Codes will get appended whenever someone prints a page from your site. Later this QR code can be scanned to open the original webpage on a mobile device.
10. Publish your Website in the Chrome Store
Google Chrome has millions of users worldwide and you’ll surprised to learn how easy it is to write a Chrome app for your website that you can publish in the Chrome web store.
It takes 5 minutes to write an app, an app will increase your website’s visibility and you need not be programmer to do that.
Bonus tip: Impress the Geeks
Also see: 25 Tips for Tech Startups