The Dot Com era is over, and website design is no longer at the forefront of the internet. You already created your website, and it’s working the way you want, right? You don’t need to think about design. Or do you?
The internet is continually changing. Today isn’t just the day when website design is at the top of everyone’s priority list—website redesign is right up there with it. You didn’t enter the online world of creating your website to let it fall by the wayside. No, instead you went into business to compete toe-to-toe with the best of the best. The way people use technology is changing. You need to change right along with it.
What is the measure of good website design? You can’t just take a ruler and expect to get conclusive results. What can you do to make sure that you’re getting the most from your daily investment? To answer this, we begin by asking ourselves a few key questions.
When was the last time you updated your website?
Content is king. Content is what keeps everyone coming back again and again. Updating your site doesn’t mean a complete design overhaul. It can be a simple blog post, adding more things for sale, or redesigning your current selection. It doesn’t matter if you have an e-commerce or informational website; you need to update and update it often.
Content is how the bigwigs—like Google and Bing—index your site. Neither one will put your site on the front page if your content is stale. Practice white-hat SEO tactics when you create new content. Use Google’s Keyword Planner to find out what people are searching for in your niche related to your website. This is essential because your site needs to rank on the first page. When people search for a term, 99% of them will click on the first page only. This is easier said than done. For example, when I search for the term ‘the moon’, Google returns 305,000,000 results in 0.54 seconds. Let’s translate this. This means that Google returned 305 million different and unique websites related to the moon in half a second! Search Engine Optimization engulfs an entire industry by itself. If your keywords aren’t working for you, it may be time to do some redesigning of your website.
Does your webpage load quickly?
There’s more to this question than meets the eye. When you created your website, I’ll bet you added as many relevant features as you could. You wanted it to be engaging and interesting. You envisioned yourself standing out from the crowd and going to your site, not your competitors. Are there features that are going unused? You may have added a chat room—a great idea to keep readers interacting with each other. When you log on to your website, is your chatroom a graveyard?
If you have unused features, consider removing them. These features add to the time it takes to load your website into a browser. Take a look at your dead links. It bad enough if an external site you’re linked to goes down. It makes it even worse if the link is internal and points to one of your own web pages. Make sure all your links are working. Moreover, if your site has relevant links, search engines will rank you higher. Relevant backlinking is an excellent SEO tactic.
How responsive is your website?
Laptops used to be considered “extensions of ourselves” in 2005. Today that is no longer the case. Instead, mobile phones and tablets are what people can’t live without. They keep their notes on there, contacts, phone numbers, important information, banking information…they even use their phones instead of a credit card to pay for things at the grocery store! Now, I’m not bashing laptops ~ I used to have one, but I went back to my tower computer. I know that might be considered a step backward by today’s standard. People who don’t use laptops to work often don’t even own them anymore. Instead, people rely on their phone for everything they do online. From gaming to banking, people live online through their phones and tablets.
Are your social media links working? If you haven’t done so already, go to Facebook and Twitter and create accounts. Social media is one of the top drivers of fresh people visiting your website. Make sure they can connect with you using Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.
You need to have a website that is optimized to meet the needs and demands of the world. Web sites are often rendered differently on a desktop browser than they are through a mobile browser. Take a look at how responsive your site appears on a tablet to see if it needs any tweaking. If it looks good and loads fast, then you’re good to go. This is another way you can tell if your current web design is working.
We are no longer cinched to our desks to work online. The world has gone mobile. We are not entering the digital age—we are well within the digital age. Is your website up to par?