In this digital world, your businesses online presence has never been more pivotal to success.
Loading times, effective UX and good SEO are essential. Below we take you through the 10 essential aspects your website needs to nail in-order to be beneficial rather than a hinderance.
First and foremost, the key factor to being online is being seen. Standing out in a saturated market required innovation. The algorithms behind search engines have dramatically progressed over the past few years, to the point where they can effectively rank sites based on their perceived quality. Old 'SEO hacks' have been rendered redundant.
As a result it is more important to focus on crafting an excellent user experience, reducing loading times and utilising effective content. However, as Google reiterated recently, page load times are a significant factor in its algorithm.
According to a Google experiment conducted in 2016, 57% of users will leave if your site hasn't loaded in 3 seconds. Furthermore, 80% of these frustrated users will never return to your site because of this previous frustration.
Reducing page load times can be done in 3 ways.
It may be obvious but people often ignore this! The larger the images on a website, the more data your device has to churn through to deliver the site. Compressing these images or making them appear smaller, will help dramatically reduce loading times.
Many website builders (such as Wordpress & Wix) utilise plugins to try and deliver comparable functionality to bespoke sites. These plugins are often large packaged libraries despite the site only needing to load a few lines of its code (site bloat). If you are using website builders, perhaps it is time to consider a bespoke, streamlined solution (such as the sites we build!). However, you may be able to reduce your load time by removing unused/outdated plugins from your library.
Your website can only be as fast as your hosting providers servers. If their servers are slow, your site will be too. There are plenty of great hosting solutions out there if you have the technical knowhow to set them up. However if you would prefer a lightening fast, managed solution, we can provide it. At Spydr, our average loading time is ~ 0.7s and delivered by a leading global CDN so you can rest assured your site loads as fast as possible!
Once the hard bit is over and a user has landed on your site, it is imperative that the user design and experience is of high quality. If it isn't users are likely to move on (bounce). Having a high bounce rate can have a huge impact on sales, bookings and wider brand perception.
Long story short, the immediate impression that your site gives must be of quality and reflect your brand. Poor design or functionality is simply inexcusable and must be avoided in order to be successful online!
Imperative to engaging users is ensuring that your site is easy to use across all devices. If the end goal is to make an online sale, the user should be able to do so in a matter of clicks. They shouldn't get lost in sub-pages or have to figure out how to get back to the page they were previously on.
Having effective UX & UI design makes the user feel that your brand is professional and succinct. Take Nike for an example. Their award-winning site could not be easier to use. Crafting simple but effective online experiences isn't easy, but when it's done properly, it is pivotal to success.
Tying into the previous point is clear and simple navigation. Navigation should always be accessible, no matter where you are on the site. It should always link directly to the main pages and work intuitively. Sub pages are often accessed by dropdown menus however, having too many options can often lead to confusion.
Think of your website like a funnel. From capturing your audience, their interaction with your site should be channeling them towards and end goal (e.g making a purchase). For example, the user flow on our client's site is established in such away to ensure that users get to the all important product page.
Effective digital experiences have never been more important. Doing it right isn't easy, but when it is done correctly often nothing is more important.
If you'd like some advice on your current project, or would like to explore starting on with Spydr, please get in touch here.