5 Improvements To Make To Your Website In 2020
So you know your website needs an upgrade but don’t know where to start? Here are the top 5 improvements to make to your website in 2020.
1. Make Your Website Responsive And Mobile-Friendly
Mobile searches account for over half of all internet traffic worldwide so it is crucial your website feature responsive design. Making your website responsive means improving the way it looks and functions across all devices (i.e. making your site mobile-friendly). The ultimate goal of responsive design is to avoid unnecessary resizing, scrolling, and zooming, allowing you to effortlessly deliver your content to your audience no matter the device they’re using. This increases the amount of time that visitors spend on your site. Difficult to navigate, non-responsive sites decrease user satisfaction and increase the likelihood you will lose potential customers.
Before responsive design, businesses needed to build and maintain two different websites – one for visitors on their computers, and another for those on their phones. Each version of a website needed to be updated independently, which increased the probability of mistakes as well as outdated “zombie” versions of your site. Now instead of designing multiple versions of your website for different screen sizes, responsive design ensures your singular site scales to any device. Responsive design allows for more flexibility, ease of management when updating content, and of course cost effectiveness.
Did you know Google penalizes non-mobile friendly websites?
Finally, Google’s search engine algorithms increasingly rewards responsive websites over non-responsive ones. Sites that are not responsive (i.e. not mobile friendly) are now penalized in Google’s search results, often pushed down beyond page one because they do not deliver a “Google experience” to mobile users. Attaining and maintaining a presence on page 1 of a Google search is critical. Page 1 results account for about 90 percent of all traffic from the average search, with traffic dropping off by 95 percent for Page 2. The top listing in Google’s organic search results receives 33 percent of the traffic, compared to 18 percent for the second position, and the traffic only degrades from there: #1: 32%, #2: 18%, #3: 11%, #4: 8%, #5: 6%, #6: 4%, #7: 3%,#8: 3%,#9: 2.5%, #10: 2.5% So, if you’re penalized by Google for having a non-mobile friendly website, you’re losing big business.
Summary: The Benefits Of Responsive Design For Your Website
- Improved User Experience
- Ease Of Management
- Cost Effectiveness
- Search Engine Optimization Gains
2. Increase Your Page Load Speed
What is Page Speed? Page speed (also known as page load time) refers to how fast the content on your web page loads. Improving page speed is important for many reasons, two of which we will cover below.
First, you have a very short amount of time to make a good impression on your visitor and potential customer. Websites that load slowly have a higher bounce rate. Fast page speed is especially important for potential customers with slower internet connections. The faster your page loads, the longer your potential customer will spend on your site.
Second, faster page speed has great SEO benefits. Google has indicated that site speed (and as a result, page speed) is one of the factors used by its algorithm to rank pages on its SERP (Search Engine Result Pages). This means fast sites are rewarded with improved search rankings, while slow-loading sites are penalized.
Enhanced audience engagement and improved Google ranking are just two of the many benefits faster page speeds bring to your website.
SEO Best Practices To Speed Up Your Website
Tools like GTmetrix can be used to improve website speed and optimize performance. Some common steps you can take to improve site speed include:
- Use browser caching so that when a visitor comes back to your site, the browser doesn’t have to reload the entire page.
- Optimize images and be sure that your images are not too large – for example JPEGs are smaller than and generally better than PNG file format. You’ll also want to be sure that they are compressed for the web.
- Use techniques like lazy load, an optimization technique to display only the sections of your web page that you want to show. This saves load time by not bulk loading all of the content at once, so users don’t have to wait for the entire page contents to load before getting started.
3. Ensure Security & Privacy
Hackers and thieves continuously evolve the methods and tools they use to attack legitimate businesses online, which is why up-to-date security and privacy protocols are so important. Below we’ll explain relevant terms and what you need to do to keep your business safe.
What is the difference between HTTP & HTTPS and why does it matter?
A website that uses HTTP has “http://” in its URL, while a website that uses HTTPS uses SSL technology to encrypt information and has “https://” in its URL. Without getting too technical, the difference has to do with the way data is sent between your browser and the website. Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) is a secure protocol developed for sending information securely over the Internet. HTTPS allows for authorization and secure transactions by using SSL technology to encrypt information in order to prevent access from unauthorized sources. HTTPS is therefore far more secure in the exchange of confidential information (like a credit card number).
Businesses have to go through a strict process to obtain a SSL certificate. When the website goes through the process of obtaining a certificate, the issuer of the certificate becomes the trusted third-party. When a browser recognizes a secure website, it will use the information on the certificate to verify that the website is exactly as it claims to be. So when a visitor browses your SSL certified website, they will know that their information will be safe. This level of security allows businesses to operate in the e-commerce industry because of their credibility.
The SEO Impact Of Using SSL Certificates
Google favors websites that are trusted, secure, and certified, and now use HTTPS as a ranking factor. HTTPS websites are ranked higher than HTTP links, so switching to HTTPS will benefit any website, whether or not confidential information is exchanged (i.e. whether or not you are selling products and accepting credit card information through your site).
4. Publish Reviews & Testimonials
Testimonials from your past and present clients are very important in establishing credibility for your business. Word-of-mouth marketing is perhaps the most powerful form of advertising for your company or brand. Testimonials tell potential customers what they can expect when they do business with you. A good testimonial that details specific product or service benefits will induce sales, so it helps when your clients explain how your product(s) or service(s) satisfy a need or solve specific problems.
A good way to display your reviews is by creating a dedicated testimonials page. You can also add them throughout your website wherever appropriate – on the homepage, contact page, or on a case studies post. People trust recommendations from real people and like to put a face to a name, so if your clients are willing, include a photo of your client.
5. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
What is SEO?
SEO, or “search engine optimization,” is the practice of increasing both the quality and quantity of visitors coming to your website. Every day Google scours the billions of web pages on the internet and evaluates page content based on a variety of factors to determine which content is most likely to be what you’re looking for. It’s like a dating service between your business (in this case), and a potential customer. It is the art and science that drives visitors to your website by increasing its visibility to internet users.
Why SEO Is Important
While paid advertising, social media, and other online platforms can drive visitors to your website, the majority of internet traffic is generated by search engines. Improving your website’s SEO is the #1 way to increase exposure to your business through organic (non-paid) search engine results.
Put it this way: a website without SEO is like expecting your car to drive without gas. Even if you already have a stunning website, what good is a beautiful Lamborghini on an empty tank?
How To Improve Your SEO
Depending on your level of tech savviness, willingness to learn, and the complexity of your business website, you could perform some basic SEO yourself. However, effective SEO requires a solid understanding of a vast array of SEO tools and strategies. If you’re not interested in mastering SEO yourself, it is important to seek the help of an expert. Choosing the right company to execute your website’s SEO can be the difference between surviving online and thriving online. With over a decade of experience, SEO is Web Design Pro’s specialty.
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You may not have a million-dollar budget, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a top-notch web presence. Web Design Pros™ takes the resources you do have and turns them into results - all while you stick to the important task of running your business. 2020 is moving quickly. Don’t wait to make the improvements to your website that will help your business thrive online.CONTACT US
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