Does Your Website Need an Update?
If you are doing business online today, it is imperative to have your website looking fresh, clean and up-to-date. Your company’s website is your online storefront where potential and returning customers can see your business. According to Mintel’s Online Shopping US 2015 Report, over two-thirds (69%) of US adults shop online monthly, leaving plenty of consumers to target. There are many factors that companies overlook when it comes to the functionality of their website that are leading to missed opportunities with potential customers. Here is a list of a few recommendations we have that can boost your website’s appeal and performance.
Is your website able to be viewed on a smartphone? With the number of mobile users increasing every year, having a website that is both mouse-friendly and touch-friendly is more of a necessity than a trend. The Google search engine has made strides to award websites that are mobile friendly. As of April 21, 2015, “Google Search will be expanding its use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches and will have a significant impact in Google Search results. Users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results optimized for their devices.” (Google AdSense). To check if Google deems your site mobile-friendly, use this Mobile-Friendly Test.
When people visit your website, it is a reflection of your business. You want to make sure your website is appealing and is loaded with useful information that visitors are attracted to. Along with being appealing, your website should be easily navigable with all content in the correct places. The last thing you want is customers clicking all over your website looking for the information they want and not finding it, deterring them from ever coming back. Your website should also highlight your product and/or service while having a layout that looks harmonious and consistent.
Search Engine Optimization/Ranking
When shoppers search your business services, how often do you appear on the first page of search engines? If you are not seen on the first few pages, your website keywords are probably not relevant to the searchers. Search engines want to do their jobs as best as possible by referring users to websites and content that is the most relevant to what the user is looking for. The more pages you have on your website that talk about your products and services, the more likely you are to show up when people search for those services. Here are a few factors on how search engines determine if content is relevant for searchers:
· Content: Is determined by the theme that is being given, the text on the page, and the titles and descriptions that are given.
· Performance: How fast is your site and does it work properly?
· Authority: Does your site have good enough content to link to or do other authoritative sites use your website as a reference or cite the information that’s available?
· User Experience: How does the site look? Is it easy to navigate around? Does it look safe? Does it have a high bounce rate?
Content Management System
An up-to-date website based on a content management system makes it easy to administer, avoid any messy code, and simply write in what you want in an organized fashion. That way, you can personally add to or switch your content based on your specific goals, while constantly optimizing your website. It makes it easy for employees of the business to monitor what content is on their website and update it constantly, without having to know much about website design. The only programming skill you’ll need to change texts, images and other media files, or to add new pages and/or articles to your web site is knowing how to work with a simple text editor.
Establish an Effective Bounce Rate
Bounce rates show how long someone stays on your site after viewing one page. If your bounce rate is over 50%, that means 50% of the traffic to your site leaves without navigating deeper into your content. There are a variety of reasons why your bounce rate may be high, but one key factor is how the information on your website is laid out. Website users usually leave a site without visiting other pages simply because they don’t find what they are looking for instantly or do not like the look of it. The higher your bounce rate, the lower your percentage of engaged users. Your bounce rate can be affected by your page, but also by the quality of the traffic coming to your site.
Technique and Coding
Having your website compatible across different platforms is very important to increase your accessibility to customers. Using a valid and up-to-date source code (HTML and CSS) can heighten the speed in which your web pages load. Every year web standards change and techniques to build web sites become more advanced in order to comply with the latest standards. If your site was developed several years ago, it probably has a lot of unnecessary HTML code, leading to slow loading web pages. Modern techniques of CSS coding allow to make web pages adaptable on every mobile device, so updating your website would be ideal to allow mobile users of all kinds to access your website.
Call to Actions
Having effective call to actions are an essential part of any website. Every website should have an objective it wants users to complete whether it is filling out a contact form, signing up for a newsletter or purchasing a product. You want your call to actions to stand out from the rest of the type on your website, to attract visitors to click on them. Implementing call to actions are an important part of tracking the number of conversions developed from your website when reporting your site performance.
In review, we have outlined some suggestions when updating or redesigning your website. If you haven’t updated your website recently, you are possibly missing out on some great techniques and methods that will strengthen your site’s reputation. If you want to hear what Farmore Marketing can do for your company’s website, contact us here!
About the Author
Director of Internet Marketing
Tyler comes to Farmore Marketing with multiple years of internet marketing experience across a variety of industries. He loves to play golf, the UConn Huskies and travel to new places!