Web Development Checklist: 10 Characteristics of a Successful Website
According to Ecommerce Foundation’s country report, 88% of consumers will research product information before making a purchase online or in-store. This means that there is no greater time to have an online presence for your business but now.
But before you get started on creating and designing a website, here are 10 things that can make it successful:
1. Takes a Few Seconds to Load
For sure you know that your website should not load more than 8 seconds if you want to retain site visitors. It is about time that you ditch that information.
According to a 2017 Google/SOASTA Research, a website that takes 10 seconds to load increases the probability of bounce rate by 132%.
A bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who landed on your website but ended up hitting the Back button as soon as they arrived. Think of it as a missed opportunity for you to turn a website visitor into a paying customer.
In addition, a high bounce rate indicates that your website has usability issues, which can trigger search engine robots to flag it as irrelevant. This can result in a drop in search engine ranking.
If you do not want this to happen, make sure that your website is well-optimized that it can load within three seconds.
2. Must be User-Friendly
A user-friendly website is something that allows your site visitor to do what they want to do with ease.
If they want to buy your products online, make sure that it will be easy for them to find the item they want to buy. Not to mention that your checkout process should be simple and easy.
If they want to know more about you and what you do, make it easy for them to look for the proper page where they can find the information and resources that they need.
Also, do not forget to make your website accessible for people with disabilities, as well as those that are accessing it on their mobile devices.
3. Must be Mobile-Responsive
The mobile internet traffic takes more than half of the global online traffic.
Do you know what this means? It means that about 6 out of 10 people all over the world access the internet through their mobile devices. This only emphasizes the need for businesses to have a mobile-friendly website.
For one, you can opt to use a mobile-responsive theme when designing your website. That way, your website will automatically adjust its size and design elements depending on a site visitor’s screen size. But if you have the resources, you can tap your web developer to create a mobile version of your website.
Nonetheless, it is best to check how your website looks like on tablets and smartphones. You can also run your website on Google’s mobile site tester to find out whether it is mobile accessible.
4. Has Cross Browser Compatibility
The latest versions of internet browsers have come a long way in making sure that you get a consistent browsing experience.
Nonetheless, each browser may still have quirks that can affect how your website appears. For example, Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox can render a transparent website background just fine. However, this may require some coding in order to appear the same on Internet Explorer.
Thus, it is important to keep cross browser compatibility in mind. That way, your site visitors can access the information on your website just the same regardless of what browser they are using.
5. Has Optimized Content
Have you heard of the cliché “Content is king”? That’s because original and well-optimized content is what sets your website apart from your competitor. Not to mention that “content” includes your blog posts, ebooks, images, videos, and more.
First, content is what educates, informs, or entertains your site visitors. This reiterates that they are making a smart decision to trust you and buy your products.
Second, an optimized content can help you be visible online. That’s because there is no great place for your target keywords but on the various parts of your content.
Third, a high-quality content is something that other websites would refer to in case they need a valid source. Not to mention that this can also drive social media engagement.
Thus, a high-quality and well-optimized content should be part of your website if you want to succeed.
6. Has Clear and Effective CTAs
Aside from your target keywords, your content is also a great place for clear and effective calls-to-action.
Why do you need a CTA for your website, you ask? That’s because it can turn an unassuming site visitor into a loyal reader, paying customer, or your own “brand ambassador.” This makes CTA buttons one of the important elements on your website.
But for that to be possible, you should determine two things:
- How would you like to convert a site visitor
- How can you turn that into an action-driven button
For example, you would want a site visitor to buy one of your products. Now, you need to think about how can you encapsulate that in a button.
HINT: It is not “click here” or “learn more.”
7. Optimized for Search Engines
Here’s the thing: There is no sense of creating a website if you cannot make it visible online. This is where Search Engine Optimization comes in.
Moz defines SEO as the “practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results.”
Basically, it is something that you need to do in order for your website to appear on search engine results that are closely related to your target keywords.
For example, you sell bike parts online. SEO is making sure that your website will be included in the search results when someone types in “buy bike parts online” on Google.
That way, you can attract that person to click-through and visit your website, and then buy from you.
8. Must be Shareable
You should know by now that your online presence is not limited to just having a website. In fact, you can establish your brand’s expertise and authority through social media.
That said, it is important that your website (and its content) are shareable on social media.
For one, it allows people to find your business online. In fact, there is a strong correlation between social media engagement and your website’s search engine ranking.
Second, you can leverage social media to attract visitors to your website. Third, it makes your brand less intimidating and more relatable. As long as you know how to treat social media as a communication platform, people will be more inclined to follow your brand on whatever platform you use.
9. On an Excellent Web Host
Of course, you cannot run your website if you do not have a reliable web host. Think of your web host as a plot of land where your house (your website) is situated.
An excellent web host comes with a lot of useful features. But for starters, you need something that is reliable (at least 99% uptime), secure, scalable, and can provide 24/7 technical support.
Sure, web hosts can be expensive. That’s why you can compare two of your preferred web hosts to weigh which one is right for you.For instance, you are considering SiteGround and Bluehost. What you can do is type in “Bluehost vs SiteGround review” on Google in order to gain insights on what would suit your needs based on online customer feedback.
10. Must Have Top Security
As mentioned earlier, you need a secured web host. That’s because it can affect your website security.
According to Cybint Solutions, 62% of businesses experience phishing and social engineering attacks in 2018. If you acquire sensitive customer information, such as credit card details, expect that security risk to increase.
And because of the risk, is important now more than ever to take precautionary measures to keep your website security tight.
There are a lot of things that you need to keep in mind when it comes to having a website for your business. But there is no need to be overwhelmed as you can tackle it one-by-one and with the help of website developers.