Website development is one of the most important factors for online success, especially if your business is solely online. The main reason behind this is the current emphasis on user experience. How users interact with, and navigate your website can make the difference when it comes to Google ranking, leads, and those coveted conversions.
“Google has indicated that UX is one factor in search engine rankings,” Michael Georgiou noted in Entrepreneur. “They want to deliver results that customers want to land on so more people use their search engine.”
The shifts in consumer behavior have led many businesses, SEOs, and online marketers to pair website development with user experience best practices. The call to action to provide a stellar experience is clear, and the following website development strategies can help.
Before getting your website development underway, you need to have a strategic plan to ensure powerful user experience remains a priority throughout development. Research competitor sites, build out keyword groups, perform an SEO audit, and more.
This is why creating a sitemap prior to website development is essential. It allows you to think about how navigation can be combined with an effective buyer funnel. What’s a buyer funnel? This is the journey you’ll lead users on to transform potential customers into paying ones.
Buyer funnel stages to implement into your website development strategy include, awareness, evaluation, and conversion. For example, your “Home” and “Solutions” pages cover the awareness stage. From those pages users will find CTAs to “About Us” and “Resources” pages to cover the evaluation stage. And all these pages will lead users to the “Order” page for the conversion.
Utilize Trending SEO Tactics
Search engine optimization is still very relevant, and combining SEO with website development is optimal when it comes to providing a powerful user experience. The trick is to stay on top of trending SEO tactics, since they continually change.
A great example of current SEO shifts is Google’s Mobile-First Index. Mobile-first index is essentially Google telling everyone that websites need to provide a mobile optimized user experience. This is important to consider when developing a website. A few mobile-minded SEO strategies include:
- Having a mobile responsive theme
- Ensuring your site speed and page load times are under three seconds
- Optimizing navigation and site menus for mobile
- Having mobile-friendly header and text size
Another mobile SEO strategy is implementing Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP). AMP not only satisfies the user experience issue for mobile, but also makes Google very happy. This can significantly improve content reach and ranking in SERPs.
“The goal of this new technology is to help sites load quickly and perform flawlessly, no matter how they’re accessed,” Megan Hendrickson of DreamHost explained.“It does this by creating a stripped-down (not as salacious as it sounds, I promise) copy of your site that only appears on mobile devices.”
Visual Content and Website Development
Integrating visual content into your website development is a great way to deliver a message and keep site visitors engaged. In fact, consumers crave more visual content from brands, making it a user experience must.
“Marketers are constantly competing for consumers’ attention, struggling to create enough compelling content to cut through the noise and truly connect with their audiences,” Peter Cassidy of SocialMediaToday said.
Images are the most common form of visual content. However, when uploading images onto your website, you need to consider a few key factors. First, images should be optimized and compressed in order to keep site speed satisfactory.
Images also need to be of the highest quality. The innovation users have in their hands highlight poor image quality, thus decreasing confidence to buy. The same goes for stock images. Online users can pick out a stock image pretty quickly, and this can lower the user experience.
Videos are another form of visual content consumers love. Having a website design that incorporates videos can make a big difference in site engagement, and ultimately lead to increased online success. Just be sure to embed videos from YouTube instead of uploading clucky mp4 files that will bring page load time to a grinding halt.
In Conclusion . . .
Website development strategies that encompass user experience must-haves ultimately catalyze online success. From having a strategic development plan to implementing visual content, the above top three strategies can be easy to do, regardless of your familiarity with website development.
Create a compelling site that satisfies searcher intent and provides quality information users will love, and find useful. The competition is fierce, but having a website that speaks to consumers can set you apart from the pack.