There are several aspects involved when it comes to running a good website, from creating a great user experience, to providing and regularly updating your engaging content to optimisation and driving traffic to your site.
Keeping the Internets rapid expansion and changing trends in mind, we have put together what we believe to be the best ten tried and tested methods that will make your website stand out from the crowd.
Let’s start with an obvious one, a slow loading website is one of the main reasons that visitors will go elsewhere. It is frustrating and people simply don’t have time to sit and wait for your site to load. Increase page loading speed and decrease your bounce-rate by making sure that your images are of an adequate size to download quickly and check out the free service that Google offers to analyze your site performance.
There is a lot to be said for a site-wide Call to Action. Whether you want potential clients to ‘Call Now’ for a quote or your shoppers to ‘Order Now’, make sure that your CTA is above the fold (at the top of the page so people don’t have to scroll down to see it) and accessible from every page.
With the advancement of technology, a responsive (mobile-friendly) website isn’t just an option anymore, it is a requirement. Visitors to your site will be viewing it from all sorts of devices such as laptops, tablets and mobiles. If your website is still old school, your mobile-friendly competitors will have an edge over you, not to mention that Google penalises websites that aren’t optimised for mobiles.
404 Errors (page not found) on your website don’t look good to your visitors. They are frustrating, somewhat disappointing and the second main reason for users to bounce after a slow page load times. Weeding out any broken links and 404s will improve user experience and you can do this by setting up Google Webmaster Tools which will bring these sorts of issues to your attention.
Bad grammar or even just a few simple typing errors can have a negative impact on both your website and the credibility of your online business. Simply neglecting a quick spell-check could lose you sales.
Test your website in several browsers to ensure that everything is displaying correctly. Users will be viewing your site in different browsers including Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, Opera so take a look at your website yourself in each browser to address and correct any bugs.
Create a blog for your own website and write unique, interesting content that will attract more visitors. But don’t just stop there, write relevant content for other websites who accept guest posts too. Guest-posting is one of the best ways to increase visibility and gain strong links back to your site.
Using Google Analytics, you can see which pages of your website that users spend less time on. Short session durations could indicate that the content of those pages could do with a revamp. Analyse those pages and think why people are leaving so soon. Perhaps the current content is too minimal, irrelevant or uninteresting. This could mean you are losing out on sales and potential clients if your content is not up to scratch.
Use a domain authority checker like Open Site Explorer to see your high authority pages and inspect any Meta titles and descriptions that are too long. Meta titles should be truncated to 50 – 65 characters and Meta descriptions should be no more than 155 characters otherwise they will "wrap" in search results. Check out our handy meta title and description counting tool to help you with this.
Create a Facebook business where you can promote your blog posts and keep your customers up to date with special offers, competitions and your latest items or news. Customers prefer to purchase from online stores who have an active Facebook page, so you can use this to gain trust through accumulating positive reviews. The same goes for Twitter, Google+, Instagram, LinkedIn and Pinterest. Connecting with them all will increase your brand awareness as well as boosting traffic to your website.
So if you think your website doesn't comply with some of the above suggestions, it could be that you are missing out on big sales or potential clients just because of a small issue that can be rectified easily.