What makes a website perform?
Having a great website means paying attention to your customer and making a site stand out enough to make them want to come back. Design details play a big role in first impressions and brand differentiation. People should experience something on your site to make them remember it (you). There are many factors that come into play with making a great website — customer experience is number one.
Access the Free Web Performance Data
Knowing your audience and their needs is the most important part when creating a great website. Google gives everyone free access to data so you can see how your site is performing. So if it’s not performing great, you have no excuse (You can’t say you didn’t know.) If the content you are creating is not tailored to your target audience needs, your website will not succeed. Google will not serve it up.
5 Factors That Can Make a Website Great
Easy to Use | Website User Experience
- Ensure you have a great mobile experience. 40% of people will leave your site if it doesn’t load in 3 seconds or less.
- Make sure to test your site on tablets.
- Test your site on various mobile phones.
- Make the navigation clean.
- If people have a problem finding things, they will leave.
- If the drop-downs cover text or cause aesthetic problems, this reflects on your brand.
- Put the blog and any unnessesary pages in the footer.
- Be sure the website is structured logically.
- For example, users know that to find a phone number, they would go to the “contact” page.
- Break up the sections by category of product or service. Don’t go more than 3 pages deep.
- Monitor the “flow” of traffic to see how they navigate your site.
- Incorporate several calls-to-action to encourage the prospect to reach out. Make it easy for them to get in touch with you.
Simple Yet an Enticing Design
- Follow your brand colors and font, but make sure they are readable. Readability is different on desktop than it is for mobile, so check it there too.
- Your brand identity is also part of the overall tone of the content. Write in the way that you would talk to your customers. Help them “see” exactly what you mean. Make it easy.
- If the images are not great, consider alternative graphics or illustrations until you can get high quality photos. Be careful the high quality photos are optimized for sizing so they do not slow down your site. (Images and speed of sites are in a constant battle to win.)
Search Engine Optimization
- Makes sure your site is secure. (The domain should show HTTPS, not HTTP.)
- Avoid keyword stuffing. This is an old school black hat strategy that you will be penalized for by Google.
- Make sure to use titles and meta descriptions. Also us tags on your images to help the bots understand what you are showing your customers. Add watermarks to your proprietary images so they are not lifted from your site and used by competitors.
- Add digital elements/assets to increase engagement. These can include PDFs (that are optimally sized). Videos and links to other pages with more info are great ways to get more engagement. Some people want to go deeper on topics and some don’t so keep the introductory pages cleaner and provide links to pages that allow them to dive in.
- Check your site for speed.
- Be sure there are no technical SEO errors on your site.
- Watch out for broken internal links.
- Disavow any spammy links. (Once where other sites are linking to your site.)
- Set up your Google My Business page and put content on it. Make sure it’s verified. This helps instantly with “local SEO”.
Clean Mechanics Behind the Scenes
- Do not have extra pages floating around
- Optimize photos so they are not too big
- Smaller photos = faster site load time
- Make sure your site plugins are up to date.
Be Original, Be You
- Make your website stand out by telling your story. Generic information about products or services will not set you apart from your competitors. Tell your “why” and share evidence of your ability to solve your customers problems through case studies and testimonials.
- Analyze competitors and see what their website is doing well and what it is lacking
- Hire a photographer to take professional photos of your team, business, etc. Photos can make or break your website.
For every client we work with at OpGo, we create a website that will stand out from their competitors (We know because we check your competitor sites, too.). Our team always implements these factors when creating a website.