Just a few years ago, all you needed for a website to be a success was a striking design and remarkable content. Well – Breaking News! – not any more. According to HubSpot, the latest metrics for a great website – one that ranks high in searches, and one that can be used most effectively in an inbound marketing strategy are as follows:
- Strong performance
- Mobile optimization
- Search engine optimization (SEO)
- SSL security enablement
- Strong Performance:
Website performance can be explained using a lot of technical mumbo-jumbo, but to put it simply, it is the measure of how quickly a visitor is able to see the content on your website. Research suggests that the ideal load time for a website should be 3 seconds or lesser; any longer and the visitor will bounce away to another website. Even if they do linger at your website and wait for the page to load, they will be left with a negative impression of your business, resulting in a direct loss for your business. HubSpot research indicates that nearly 80% of shoppers who have a negative experience with a website are less likely to buy from that website.
How you can achieve it:
- One of the biggest culprits responsible for slow page loading is the size of images on your website. When you use photos, ensure that you pare down the image sizes and resolutions using efficient photo-editing software in order to speed up your page loading process.
- Mobile Optimization:
All over the world, internet users are increasingly using their mobile phones to browse, read and make purchases online. In fact, in countries such as USA and China, the number of mobile internet users exceeds those who access the internet on their PCs. Hence it is a no-brainer that your website needs to be ‘optimized’ so that it reads and presents well on the small screens of iPhones or Android phones. You do not want your prospective customer to get turned off your website because she can’t read the minute script on your built-for-PC website.
Not only that, Google’s search algorithms look for mobile optimization, absence of which will affect your website’s search rankings.
How you can achieve it:
- By simplifying the content: Use bullet points, fewer navigation layers, larger, clearer CTAs, more easily accessible ‘Back’ and ‘Home’ buttons and simple icons.
- By incorporating location data
- By shortening and simplifying the checkout process
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO):
Search Engine Optimization of your website primarily helps Google’s search engine to locate and rank your websitein its search rankings so that users can find you easily. A website with content optimized for search will be a magnet for potential customers who are looking for solutions that you might be able to provide.
How you can achieve it: By optimizing the following components:
- Page Titles: The description of your website as shown in your web browser tab.
- Heading Tags: The tags of primary and secondary headers on the website that tell your visitor what the site is about.
- Meta Descriptions: Short descriptions of your website that show up along with the search results.
With hackers getting more sophisticated and sneakier by the day, you have to do all you can to protect your website and your customers’ accounts from being compromised. Having adequate security on your website can make all the difference between a user deciding to entrust his information with you or not; in other words, not having a robust online security arrangement can cost you valuable customers.
How you can achieve it: Ensure that your website is set up using SSL (Secure Socket Layer) technology. This technology creates a “tunnel” between an internet user’s web browser and your website’s server. Information such as user’s name, email id, login id, etc. sent via this “tunnel” is protected and not privy to third parties. Display this security feature prominently on your website to reassure users about the level of security provided by your website.
Conclusion: The goal of this article is to drive home the point that these factors are critical to a website’s ‘performance’ and hence, its success. It will be interesting to see how many websites around the world are actually performing at their peak, according to these criteria, but that’s a story for another time.
For now, get cracking and use this blog post as a primer to getting your website up in top shape. Your website can be a major factor in any inbound marketing strategy that you formulate to attract and convert leads to customers. After all, your website is the online storefront of your business and its effectiveness can play a huge role in determining your bottom line.
If you have any questions about priming your website so that it works perfectly for an effective inbound strategy, contact us today at www.digitant.com