Use this handy guide to check if your current business website is meeting common standards. Doing so can increase your search engine rankings, user engagement, conversions and ultimately even improve your business' bottom line. So, the list:
- Responsive Design
- Easy to update (and updated regularly)
- Quick to navigate
- Served over HTTPS
- Optimised for performance & SEO
- Standing out - the right way
- Interactive marketing/content
- Returning the right data
1. Responsive Design
If you weren't already aware, the majority of website visits now take place on our mobile devices, not computers or laptops. In fact, this has been the case for at least two years, so if your site isn't mobile ready yet you need to get a shift on! Not least because it hurts your Google rankings.
In 2019, your website needs to not only look good across various screen sizes but also offer the same content and handle the limits that come with slow/finite mobile data. For those looking to stand above their niche, it could be time to take a look into how to make the most of mobile browsing - things like VR, AR & panoramic content.
2. Easy to update (and updated regularly)
Regular website updates are important not only for search engine rankings but generally for increasing user return rates and experience. Sure you might be updating your prices (hopefully!) but when was the last time you refreshed your blog page, 'about us' page, or your home page calls to action? It's unlikely your business is exactly the same as it was when you had your website built two years ago!
If your site is in either of the states below, it's time to seriously consider a change in operations or website:
- "I can update it, but it's just so much hassle!" - Reconsider your content management system; in 2019 the majority of your website, even if a bespoke build, should be easily updated by 'non-coders'.
- "I update it all the time, but now my site is cluttered and looks nothing like it did to begin with!" - Time for a spring clean; remove the dusty out-of-date content and even consider a design refresh that takes into account all the new content.
3. Quick to navigate
At this point in the internet's life and pervasiveness, your customers will most likely have seen a LOT of websites. Even by the time they get to yours they could have looked at several competitors' sites, depending on how Google et al. rank you. With that in mind, can a customer who knows what they are looking for easily find it on your website?
Effective navigation can be tricky thing to get right; you don't want to outright list all your pages and bamboozle the visitor but you can't afford to omit key content or squeeze it all together on one page. Sit down for ten minutes, try to figure out what your customers are likely to search for and then test how long it takes a friend, colleague or family member to find it on your site - the more tech-phobic they are the better!
In 2019 there really is no excuse for your website not meeting at least the minimum accessibility standards for visitors. An inaccessible site negatively impacts SEO, can produce terrible user experiences and even outright render it useless for significant chunks of the general population (i.e. YOUR potential customers).
Checking your site is accessible for all is never wasted time and, especially now with several easy to use website testing tools, is a task that shouldn't be