4 Website Best-Practices in 2018
It’s a fiercely competitive world for businesses out there in the digital universe.
Our daily lives have become so entwined with the internet that it’s rare these days if a business that isn’t attempting to build a digital presence via their website.
The only problem is that in a growing digital marketplace, it isn’t enough to just show up.
Your website should be the tool you use to engage, captivate and convince every visitor that you’re the company they want to do business with.
Unfortunately, not enough businesses tap into this potential with their website design.
The truth is, there’s a ton of effort being put into web design and development that misses the mark and falls short. When done correctly, web design is a conscious effort to create an exceptional user experience.
If you’re building a new site, or maybe looking to update your existing one, some key features are a must for success in 2018.
Responsive Design for the Mobile Consumer
Responsive website design is a high starting point because it encompasses so many other features that are key to user satisfaction, like speed and usability. However, honestly, the responsive design isn’t an option going forward.
Last year, the time spent on desktop computers grew only marginally compared to the year before. Mobile devices, on the other hand, are whole other story with time spent on them jumping by about 25%.
As more businesses start to get on board with responsive design, we’re starting to see bounce rates drop. This is an indicator that responsive design provides the type of website functionality that keeps mobile users engaged and coming back for a repeat performance.
Plus, Google is pushing forward with its mobile-first indexing, which places priority indexing on sites that are mobile optimized. Responsive design makes the transition into the mobile-first index a non-issue.
The surge in mobile usage is also changing how people are using their devices. Alexi, Siri and “hey Google” have become household names and optimizing for voice search is now crucial for SEO.
Take for example, how one of the top voice searches initiated by adults is to ask for directions. As a business owner, taking steps to make sure your website features voice optimized contact information guarantees that more of your customers can find you when they’re most interested in visiting your physical location.
However, say you’re an e-commerce business and aren’t all that worried about the local SEO perks that voice optimization provides. About 22% of voice queries are for local content. That’s sure an impressive number, but it also means that 78% of voice searches aren’t necessarily looking for something so close to home.
Voice optimization as part of the overall SEO built into your site design, is a crucial element, especially for local small businesses that can benefit from the SEO advantage.
Security Features to Build Trust
Security breaches happen all too frequently. Just take a stroll through the news, there’s a good chance you’ll see at least one mention of hacking or other types of cybercrimes.
Now, think about your website as if it were a physical storefront. It would be devastating if someone broke in, took your merchandise and compromised any sensitive information you had on location. Almost every business takes measures to protect their offices or retail locations from theft, so why wouldn’t you take the same measures on your website.
Often, security is overlooked because business owners don’t realize just how at risk they are. It’s a classic case of “it won’t happen to me.” However, cybercrimes are a genuine threat. They continually get more sophisticated in their approach, and they can go undetected, at least initially sometimes.
Your customers already know all of this, and that’s why they’ve become wearier than ever about sharing their information with a website that they’re unfamiliar with. To gain their trust, you need the critical identifiable safety features to put your customer’s minds at ease. Features like an SSL certificate, updated plugins and using a content delivery network will help to keep your security, and reputation, strong.
For quite a few people, SEO is synonymous with keywords and content. True, these are valuable components; however search engine optimization goes much deeper into the structure of web design and development.
A lack of SEO built into websites is an issue that we see all too frequently with the range of doing it yourself web design services. Pretty templates are beautiful to look at, especially once you customize it and make it yours. However, unfortunately, what you end up with is something that looks phenomenal but severely lacks performance.
For search engines to get in there and do their thing, your site needs to be easily crawled before it can be indexed. In other words, Google and its search engine competitors need to be able to make sense of your site and the content it contains, and specific features of web design make this possible.
For example, well-structured navigation that works with URLs. XML sitemaps and other components help search engines to understand better what you’re about. Google and the other popular search engines want to make sure that your listing is showing up in front of the people who want to see it. Built-in SEO features help make sure this happens.
Find A Web Development Agency with Your Growth in Mind
Your website is the ultimate representation of your business, and it performs many functions. It’s an all in one tool for attracting visitors, gaining their trust and building a solid gold reputation for your brand. Creating a website that does all this is no small task, which why you should trust it in the hands of a professional web development agency.