Your website is the front door of your business. Think about what happens as you approach the front door of any traditionally brick and mortar business. From the moment you pull into the parking lot you are making judgements and assumptions about what to expect.
If the parking lot is spacious and well-lit, you’re more likely to trust this brand and feel safe walking into their store. If there are only two parking spots, both on the side of the building that doesn’t have any windows, you may reconsider what type of business you’re about to enter.
The same thing happens online. Potential customers are making immediate judgements about how fast your site loads (which may not even be in your control), the first impression they get from your logo, the hero image and the headline designed to persuade them to stay and look around.
In order to maximize the value your website is generating, let’s take a look at two aspects of your site, the technical implementation and how it is set up and the aesthetic or design of the site.
Before jumping into the technical aspects of your website, let’s be sure to clearly define who the primary, secondary and tertiary audiences are for your site.
Is your site designed to attract new customers, because your business has a high client retention rate?
Or does your site need to also engage current customers to ensure you’re not always looking for new sales leads?
And finally, are you well known in your town or city? You may have a high number of business influencers coming to your site to find out more about you and your business — that would be a tertiary audience.
Sparxoo Tip: To assess your business’ website audience, you can easily tap into your site’s analytics account (typically Google Analytics) and from there can view reports that show new vs. returning users, how long they spend on various pages and you can even segment these groups to see how they move through your site differently from one another.
Technical Website Considerations
From a technical standpoint, most websites today are built upon a content management system (CMS) such as WordPress, which powers approximately 30-35% of all websites on the internet today. While a CMS makes updating websites very easy for those of us who don’t code, there are some common metrics to keep an eye on to ensure your site is performing well.
Our best recommendation is using a free website performance tool such as Web.Dev which is powered by Google Lighthouse. This will break your site’s performance down into four aspects.
Accessibility refers to the common issues that may prevent users from accessing your content. This also includes an increasingly popular legal issue which is ADA compliance and your website.
For your business and website you must consider if people with disabilities such as epilepsy, vision and/or hearing impared and even color blindness can access your site and content.
Sparxoo Tip: Two of our favorite accessibility tools are UserWay and AccessiBe which can be installed on your website to provide users with disabilities a menu to adjust your website to their preferred style for their session.
Best practices look for everything from HTTPS usage to correct image aspect ratios to ensure your website is using up to date security protocols and is optimized for modern browsers.
Sparxoo Tip: Whether you’re launching a new site or just updating your existing site, check out HubSpot’s pre-launch checklist to ensure you’re not forgetting a key step.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Finally, considering we’re breaking down a Google Lighthouse report, it makes sense that Google also reports on how your website is doing from a SEO perspective.
One of the key areas assessed is your site structure and your navigation. If your navigation is complex, you may want to think about the different areas of your site and determine if there is a better way to reimagine how users consume your content.
Another area that will be assessed is the title tags and headers for each page. Now if using WordPress as a CMS, there are numerous SEO plugins, with one of the largest being Yoast.
Yoast allows you to easily visualize and customize how your page will appear on a search engine results page and even give recommendations on strong headlines and page descriptions.
Now of course, we’re only scratching the surface on how to maximize your website and sometimes it’s just easier to have a conversation. We’d love to hear from you and maybe even meet (virtually of course) — connect with us here.