It doesn’t matter how your website looks. Any website will get the job done. Right? Wrong. The look, design, and usability of a website matter. These factors will allow you to stand out from the crowd and remain on top of the game. Read on to discover tried and tested ways that ensure your website is built for your customers. These steps will put you on the path to an excellent online business.
Critical Elements of a Good Business Website
If you’ve set out to create a new website or want to improve on an existing one, here are essential factors to consider.
Make Your Website Easy to Navigate
Typically, smooth, straightforward navigation on your website makes it easy for users to find what interests them. On the other hand, making it hard for them to proceed will ultimately frustrate their efforts. Frustrated visitors will quickly hit the exit button.
Without stating the obvious, easy and quick navigation equals a good user experience. It also allows search engines to effectively and efficiently index information on your site. Don’t try too hard to wow your visitors with a complex system. It would help if you had a clickable navigation bar or menu at the top of the page. Doing this allows them to quickly access the information they need without digging into infinite pages. That is especially true for larger websites.
Having clickable navigation elements for multiple sections allows visitors to access information without wasting time. Also, ensure the links are an accurate description of the linked page, so users know what they will find.
Create a Mobile-friendly Website
Unlike previously, when Google used the desktop version of a site to crawl and index a page, it now uses the mobile version. This is because most users use mobile devices for search. In what it calls mobile-first indexing, Google predominantly evaluates the relevance of a page using the mobile version. So your website should have a responsive design.
The design should be able to adapt to the screen size. Mobile-friendliness allows you to display another version of your site to mobile users. This gives them an equally great experience as on desktop. In fact, designing your websites for the mobile screen will give you a ranking advantage compared to websites designed for desktops.
Overall, a website that works optimally both on desktop and smartphone should be your ultimate goal.
Ensure Your Website Functional
The purpose of your website is a key factor when deciding the features you need to prioritize. Your website’s functionality defines what it does and how it does it. What features do you need to include to help your visitors use your website quickly?
For instance, educational websites might require a site-search tool to locate information. Other users want to make purchases or make inquiries. A functional website attracts more traffic, keeps visitors for a long, and they could eventually become customers. Having a functional website also means making it accessible while meeting the needs of all users. This includes those with hearing, visual, or other disabilities.
To give your website better functionality for more users, you might want to include alt text for users to read an image. Increasing fonts and decreasing color contrast can help those with vision challenges. You can also add videos or audio to your content. These steps will boost your search rankings and improve user experience.
Make Your Website Speedy
“Two things remain irretrievable: time and a first impression.” ~ Cynthia Ozick. This statement holds for any business websYour audience expects your website to load lightning fast every time they open it. How a visitor perceives your brand the first time on the web will leave a lasting impression.
While other factors like relevant and quality content are important, Google considers high speed as an important ranking factor. Research indicates that most users will abandon your website and never return if loading takes more than a few seconds. Google will often penalize websites that render slowly since they give a terrible user experience. So you need to ensure that you optimize the web pages for faster loading.
There are numerous ways to improve page speed. Some of these include choosing the right web host, caching your pages, and using a Content Delivery Network(CDN)
Optimize Your Website for Search
If you already have a running website, remember how much time you have spent trying to make it great. How would you feel if then no one clicked on it? Worse still, what would come to mind if those who visited spent only a few seconds and clicked away? Disappointing, I bet.
The online environment is competitive, and you must do more to stay on top. In addition to helping you stand out from the crowd, website optimization allows you to receive traffic, improve rankings, and give a better user experience. You need to make your website SEO-friendly to reach users and meet your goals.
While website optimization is not a one-off event, there are basic things that you must do. This includes selecting the right keywords for your content, adding backlinks, and doing all you can to improve website speed.
Secure Your Website
Every day, the number of websites getting hacked is proliferating. Have you ever visited a website only to find a pop-up that warns you to stay away from the site? Google will do the same if your website poses a risk to users. This means you’ll lose most of your organic traffic, ultimately affecting your business.
I don’t mean to scare you, but your hackers could be targeting your customers, among other risks. Criminals might use malicious software to infect your site and steal customers’ data. They can sometimes gain access, take over computer resources associated with your website or even redirect traffic. In more severe scenarios, they can infect users with malicious software.
Your top priority should be safeguarding your customer’s information from unauthorized access. Ensure you’re using strong passwords, install security plugins, and keep your site updated. Don’t wait until your website is compromised.
This might not be an exhaustive list of all you can do to make your website great, But following these steps will put you ahead of the competition. You can also experiment with other strategies and check what works for you. We wish you all the best in your online business.