In 2019, having a website is no longer optional. Strong online presence is essential if you want your business to succeed. However, only 51% of businesses have a website. Moreover, not all of those websites meet the high standards of modern consumers.
From poor design to privacy issues, there are many mistakes you can make when creating a website for your business. Here’s how to avoid them and make your website both user and search friendly.
Smart devices are making it easy for us to access anything on the internet from our pockets, no matter where we are. Because of that convenience, more than half of web traffic comes for mobile. That’s why it’s necessary for your website to perform well on every device.
Having a responsive design means that your website can easily adapt to any screen size. Furthermore, it also requires you to use a simple design, large enough typeface, and good contrast against the background so it’s easier to view your website from smaller devices as well.
Responsive design will not only improve customer experience but also help your website rank better, as Google added mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal in 2015, and updated their algorithm in 2017 to further encourage responsive design.
Quick loading time
As mentioned before, convenience is something today’s website visitors place a high value on, and waiting for a website to load is anything but convenient. In 2018, the average mobile web page was taking 15.3 seconds to load, which is alarmingly long, especially since 53% of visitors leave a website if it takes more than three seconds to load, according to Google.
So, whenever possible, try to keep your website as minimalist as possible and get rid off all unnecessary files that weigh down your website. There are various tools that can help you determine your page loading speed, as well as identify and remove the bottlenecks.
Keep in mind that website speed is also one of the ranking signals, so cutting down the loading time will also help your ranking.
In the past few years, privacy has become one of the big issues for internet users. In 2018, GDPR caused major changes in privacy policies and the recent data breaches, such as The Facebook-Cambridge Analytica data scandal, have proven the importance of data protection and informed consent.
Another way to take your website security to the next level is to migrate your website to HTTPS. Since 2014 Google I/O annual conference, it became clear that making your website secure by default and shifting to HTTPS will make it both user and search friendly.
The importance of HTTPS is continually growing, and it is already impacting the way your website is displayed by browsers. Google Chrome, for example, warns visitors with a message “Your connection to this site is not secure” if your website is missing the https prefix. It’s safe to say that this can heavily impact your website traffic because many potential visitors will perceive your website as a security risk.
Your website should be simple and easy to navigate. Make sure to remove all unnecessary clutter from your pages and make everything clear and visible. And while your website should be responsive and well designed for both desktop and mobile screens, it’s especially important to make your website easy to navigate on smart devices, because smaller screen sizes come with additional challenges.
Because of the restricted screen space, you have to puzzle everything together so it fits perfectly without being too cluttered. Additionally, smaller touch targets are harder for users to hit than larger ones, so make sure that you keep them big enough and within the thumb reach.
Another great solution that will help users navigate your website is the so-called “hamburger menu”, a space-saving button that typically opens up a side menu or navigation drawer. It’s an easily recognizable symbol that communicates to users that the button contains a list of items and it’s a great way to clean up your messy pages.
While competing with over 1.5 billion websites for web traffic can seem daunting, there have never been this many resources that can help you make your website shine through. From website templates and themes to useful data and tried and tested methods, use every tool in your arsenal to make your website as convenient for your visitors as possible. And if you make your website user-friendly, responsive, and secure, you will send positive signals to Google that your website is worthy of high ranking.