Your website is more than just a tick-box – it is the digital window to your brand and should be optimised with your target audience in mind. As consumers and potential customers increasingly turn to online search, accurately representing your brand and clearly defining your business proposition through your website needs to sit at the forefront of any business strategy. Search is of equal importance – are you featuring highly in search engines for relevant search terms? Ultimately, a website that is ‘performing’ well on all fronts will lead to conversions. From brand perception to user experience and everything in between, James has put together some food for thought on measuring how your website is performing:
What customers believe a product or service represents
How do you want to be perceived? Your potential customers will form an opinion of your business almost immediately upon landing on your website. Your brand perception can be enhanced by ensuring you have a clear brand identity, suitable imagery, engaging copy and relevant pages in the navigation menu. Show your website visitors your eye-catching brand with images that visually represent what you do and with copy that demonstrates your expertise and reinforces why you are best-in-class. Through better understanding what your customers are seeing and making sure that this tallies with your brand strategy, you will see a positive impact on traffic and conversions.
User experience (UX)
The customer journey
Have you thought about how well users can navigate through your website? A great User Experience is fulfilling the user’s wants and needs, and by doing so can increase your traffic, conversions and customer base. According to HubSpot, more than 65% of people prefer to look at a site with purposeful user experience over a standard webpage. Additionally, with the majority of people now online using their smartphones, ensuring your site is designed for mobile use is paramount. It is essential to provide positive experiences to keep users loyal to your brand, reduce bounce rates and to ensure your website stays ahead of the competition.
How is your website performing?
It is widely understood that users will form an opinion about your website within 10 seconds. This clearly indicates the importance of page speed. Furthermore, your site can be held back in search results if it has a slow loading time. To maximise potential in SERPs (Search engine results pages), you should ensure that there is as little delay as possible when a user views your website.
For performance, User Experience and SEO best practice, it is essential to keep on top of crawler issues. By performing a site crawl, errors including critical crawler issues, meta data issues, content issues and 404 errors can be flagged up and resolved. Any of these issues are likely to harm a search engine’s ability to crawl and index your site. Put simply, your website can rank much lower in SERPs if it has any of the issues mentioned above.
Code, or Markup validation as it is also known, is an important step towards ensuring the technical quality of your web pages. There are code validators online which check the HTML and XHTML documents for well-formed code. Clean code gives your site more chance to perform well as it means search engines can easily ‘read through’ your content and extract the information that the person online is looking for.
A necessity for improved search engine placement and customer security is an SSL certificate. This certificate binds a digital key to your online business details. When it is installed on a server, this https protocol allows for secure connections from web server to browser. In short, this security protocol is put in place to secure information, data transfer and log ins.
As digital search continues to rise, a well-performing website gives you a unique opportunity to be discovered by your target audience online, to give a great first impression to potential customers, to encourage loyalty within your existing customer-base and increase conversions. As such, it is important to carry out regular health checks on your website to make sure you are maximising the potential of your digital reach.
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