The growth of content and social media marketing for Tasmanian businesses make it easier than ever to direct visitors to your website.
While these are really important tools in 2020, sometimes no amount of marketing can improve this traffic if your website isn’t well designed.
Both the strategy and design of your website can impact significantly on how it ranks in search engines - known as Search Engine Optimisation or SEO - so before jumping ahead with a costly marketing campaign, it’s important to get the fundamentals of your website design right.
Here’s a few common issues that can affect your website’s traffic and negatively impact your search engine rankings:
Having a responsive website is probably the most important factor in 2020.
What does responsive mean? A responsive website is one that will adapt and display content clearly for visitors, regardless of what device or screen size they are using.
Google admits that it penalises websites that aren’t responsive, so now more than ever it is important to ensure that your website is responsive.
While most newly created websites are responsive, it’s also important to ensure that content is not only formatted for these devices, but also optimised and tweaked to ensure the best possible experience for visitors.
Firstly, you can test your website using Google’s Mobile Friendly tool https://search.google.com/test/mobile-friendly.
While the results can vary and not every aspect can be address, if there are major issues or your website isn't responsive at all it may be time to consider an upgrade or prioritising these fixes.
In today’s fast paced society, a slow loading website can result in a poor experience for visitors who will quickly leave. This also often results in being penalised by search engines for providing a negative experience.
Images and video that appear on your website are often the main culprits that impact speed, however these are a necessary part of an engaging design.
It is therefore important to find a balance between content that displays in the highest quality - but has an appropriate file size to optimise loading speed.
Optimising your images is often the first point of call to address load speed.
We often use the tool Pingdom to analyse a website and have written a blog post specifically about how we optimise images for a website.
Also consider the code of your website. Some website platforms that require plugins often have bloated code which can reduce loading speed.
Designing a website that search engines can easily crawl not only increases your SEO but also helps attract potential visitors to your site.
In general terms, content optimisation is placing relevant and search friendly keywords through out your website and content - such as page titles, descriptions and within your text.
This consideration helps tell search engines that your website (as opposed to your nearest competitor) answers the problems visitors may have, in turn ranking you higher and increasing traffic to your site.
While many ways to optimise content, a quick exercise is to brainstorm 4-10 keywords or search phrases that, ideally, you’d like visitors to find your website through.
Analyse your current website’s content (i.e. the text, layout and images) and see if these terms appear naturally and in prominent places, such as key headings and your page titles.
Quality content is the key to a successful website - however consistently providing new information and updates is a big tick for search engines.
Creating a blog on your website (just like this one you’re reading) is one way to let visitors and search engines know that you’re actively here to help - giving both a reason to prioritise you over your competitor as well as show a level of expertise in your chose field.
Firstly, consider if a blog would be beneficial for your business or organisation.
If you think you have the time to consistently develop posts, think about key problems a visitor has and how an informative post or video can help address these.
Stay tuned - we’re developing a specific post on how to create high quality blog articles.
Consistency between your brand and your online presence is another important consideration that can affect website traffic.
A professional looking website can make or break a user’s impression of your website and in turn how much traffic you get.
How easy the website is to use is also crucial - particularly when considering the wants and needs of your ideal visitor and if they can actually these actions easily.
From an overarching perspective, consider if the visual design as a whole represents your business in the best way possible. Is your design up to date and does it extend the presence of your business, or is it something you're embarrassed of?
Also consider the usability of your website. A quick exercise is to think about three tasks your ideal visitor would want to achieve - and how easy is it for them to do these tasks through your websites navigation, buttons or call to actions.
If you feel either of the above are lacking, then feel free to get in touch about a potential website design update.
While the list above is quite specific, the ways to address the issues are all really achievable whether you're managing your own website or working alongside a website designer.
At Wakeford Digital, we use Webflow to develop our websites - and while we are continually refining and developing our process and output, we strongly feel that we address all of the potential issues above.
Our overall design process helps to achieve a high quality visual design and usability, and we consider early on the content and keywords to ensure these requirements are met.
Mobile, tablet and large screen responsiveness are also a standard with all out websites too.
A key part of our maintenance work with our clients is optimising images and graphics on their website, as well as providing useful ideas on what blog posts or updates that aim to engage their visitors.
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