Your site is the most important company representation in this digital world. Very often, a potential customer’s first impression is formed through a visit to your pages. If they don’t look that good, chances are that you’ve missed on an opportunity to impress.
A good website isn’t that easy to put together. So many elements have to work alongside each other to ensure the highest possible website quality and an optimal user experience.
Are you wondering about the quality of your website? Let’s go over some of the most crucial elements and everything that it takes to impress and get people coming back to your pages time and time again.
Why Website Quality Matters so Much
Getting your house in order is all about more conversions and a chance to grow your business. In order to accomplish those goals, you will have to impress prospects.
Website quality is important because of two very distinct reasons.
For a start, today’s audience has many options to choose from. If your online presence isn’t as powerful as what the competition has to offer, chances are that people will not dedicate a lot of time to exploring your website.
Today’s audience has a relatively short attention span. Any functionality that doesn’t work, a mediocre user experience or sub-par content will get people leaving your website. They’ll never look back and never turn into customers.
In addition, website quality has a profound impact on your search engine optimisation (SEO) efforts. Google examines a wide array of criteria to give its users the most relevant, high quality results. User experience matters and so do other technical factors.
The Technical Fundamentals of SEO
Several website components are characterised as very important for good search engine ranking:
1. User-friendly design: a simple, effective and functional design is one of the SEO fundamentals. People don’t like complex, difficult to use things. Every bit of content should be easy to use and the functionalities chosen should enhance the experience. Plug-ins and add-ons for the sake of having plug-ins and add-ons will not get the job done.
2. Crawlable link structures: search engine crawlers access and index content in a specific way. A crawlable link structure relies on intuitive navigation (menus) and several other components that create a “path” for crawlers to reach all of the pages and get them indexed.
3. Website speed: a website that takes too long to load will increase the bounce rate and discourage many potential visitors from exploring your content. A website should be lightweight and capable of loading within a couple of seconds. Google has a site speed tool you can use to assess current performance.
4. Sitemap: just like the crawlable link structure, a sitemap gives search engine crawlers complete information about all of the pages and the information available.
5. Compatibility for numerous devices: mobile devices are becoming more and more prominent. They generate a large percentage of the online traffic. A high quality website has a responsive design that looks good on tablets, smartphones, laptops and personal computers.
6. URL structure: the address of each website page should also provide a bit of information about the content of every single page.
Most Common User Experience Issues
While the components of technical SEO are easy to understand in theory, they aren’t that simple to implement in practice. User experience issues stem from an array of mistakes that even experienced developers and SEO professionals commit.
Some designers and companies commit the mistake of designing for themselves rather than for the specific audience. It’s very important to have a good idea about user expectations. Simply assuming that people will be happy with a certain functionality or a content structure will be insufficient to get satisfactory results.
Issues with the mobile experience are probably the most common ones because some professionals still don’t take personal devices in consideration. A website may look great on a laptop or a PC but if it fails in the world of mobile devices, it isn’t going to perform that well. Google will definitely “take points off” for such a mistake.
Functionalities that are faulty or that work according to user expectations can also cause problems. Everything has to be thoroughly tested prior to the launch of a new design or after the redesign of a website. If it doesn’t work impeccably, it shouldn’t be on the website.
Based on the previous paragraph, it’s also crucial to focus on website speed. This is a factor that can be controlled through the creation of a lightweight structure and the omission of everything unnecessary. Once you test the speed of your website with an online tool, you’ll also get suggestions about what it would take to increase the load speed. An experienced developer will be capable of making the required fixes for you.
A crappy website will make the wrong first impression. What’s even more important, search engines will also be disappointed with what you have to offer. Your online presence is a crucial component of your brand identity. Don’t leave website design and development to chance. Choosing the right professionals for the job and putting some thought in the design process will lead to rewards down the line.