It may be time to ponder an important question. When was the last time you surfed the company’s website? It’s really a simple question but one that few people ask themselves. A website often is viewed as a process that fits the mold of once performed, it’s done. But within the fast-paced world of technology, few aspects of digital communication are ever done for very long.
Nothing is forever; with time all things wear out, need repaired, modified, updated, or just plain scrapped. However, companies fail to realize that a website is just like any other high-tech piece of equipment. Once completed and sent down the online road, a website is not forever. It needs to be updated on a regular basis, fine-tuned to maintain its optimal speed, and routinely customized to reflect the latest technology, search engine algorithms, regulations, internal navigation, and overall useability. Studies have found that consumers can be very impatient when shopping online. Forty percent of customers will leave a site if it takes more than 3 seconds to load. For every 1 second of load time, conversion drops by 7% and user satisfaction diminishes by 16%. Once upon a time patience was seen as a virtue; today everything has to happen now!
Most brands’ website requirements were defined and established when the site was initially developed and designed. The website hosting plan selected when the site was first launched, while adequate at the time, may not meet the demands of current operational requirements. Now is the time to review and update your website to ensure it meets current usage needs.
All internet search engines update and modify algorithms. Google, the most used search platform, makes daily changes to improve user experience, and “core updates” and other significant changes occur a few times a year. If keywords have not been updated regularly, website traffic and rankings may be diminished. Search engines have constantly updated the natural language comprehension skills of the platform to match how people speak and comprehend language today. Review and update your keywords to avoid sending customers in the wrong direction.
Regularly review your website’s content. Content marketing is revolutionizing the way brands connect with customers through two-way conversations in social media channels, on websites, podcasts, and short informative videos. Writing quality impactful content can elevate a brand’s authority, promote increased customer interactions, and generate increased conversions if done well, but creating quality messaging should take priority over quantity. Having a weak content marketing strategy that doesn’t support SEO principles will weaken performance.
Link building contributes to website traffic; however, internal links can often get in the way of free-flowing website traffic. Evaluate your current linking environment and remove irrelevant, outdated, and broken internal links. Poor linking can lead to a website being penalized by internet search engines. Tracking codes are critical to website tracking performance, so pay attention to your tracking codes and where they are placed in the webpage HTML. A misplaced code will negatively impact traffic performance.
Users have become accustomed to familiar methods of navigating websites. Using familiar and friendly navigation techniques provide easy access to information about a brand and its products and services. Avoid implementing navigation designs that appear to be unique, overcrowded, and confusing. Keep navigation structured in two or three levels deep at most, narrow, clear, simple, and logical.
Experiential design, thoughtful layouts, quality user experience and SEO site maps are just a few ingredients for a successful website that will engage and retain your users. At Junction Creative Solutions (Junction) we create up-to-date, technically correct websites that tell a story, move a user through the path of engagement, and ultimately mobilize a user to take an action.
To learn how Junction can implement performance enhancements to your website, call 678-932-0532.