In today’s digital world, simply having an online presence for your business is not enough. According to research, most Internet users will judge a business by its website. Meaning if your site isn’t making a great impression, there’s a strong possibility that a potential client will move on. We have several areas to consider when evaluating your site and whether it’s making the right first impression.

Impressions Are Fast

How much time do you think the average user spends on a site before making a final judgment? A minute? 30 seconds? It’s more like 1/20th of a SECOND. Yes! It’s that fast! When presented with several options from a search query, Internet searchers move quickly to sort through them all. Evaluating your website design to not only best represent your company but also to appeal to potential customers is key.

Looks Matter

A well-designed site is synonymous with a good business. Because your website is often the first time a potential client is encountering your business, making sure that the site design best represents your business AND is targeted to your customer is huge – don’t miss an opportunity to make that first impression! Knowing what your target market is looking for in a product and how they shop (literally and figuratively) is key to how your site is designed. Think of it this way: a Millennial and a Baby Boomer are likely looking for different products and are attracted to different things. Therefore, color, layout, questionnaires, interaction, etc., are all important aspects of the site’s design.

But It’s More Than Looks, Too

While the look of the website is vital, how it functions can be just as important. Site speed, load times, accessibility, navigability, and security are all crucial to your website. Your site may be stunning to look at, but if it takes too long to load, the chances of a customer sticking around are slim. In addition, if the information the user is looking for is too challenging to find or if pages are missing, a potential customer is likely to move on rather than continuing to search the site.

Don’t Forget About Mobile

With more than half of the world’s 3.9 billion Internet users doing so from a mobile device, not having a mobile presence for your business website is a huge no-no. Responsive website design is not only good for mobile viewing but also for SEO. Google Ranking Factors analyze and rank higher sites that are built with mobile-first design.

Hammersmith Support Has You Covered

If you are thinking now is a great time to redesign your site, if you have questions about our maintenance packages, or if you’re not sure what you need, schedule a complimentary 30-minute meeting and let’s talk through your questions.

Did you know that the average user won’t wait more than 3 seconds for a website to load before leaving the site? More commonly known as the bounce rate, this statistic is important to understand because poor site speed can lead to a higher bounce rate. Knowing what could be slowing down your site and how to fix it is crucial to a better-performing website. Read below to find out how to measure and improve your site’s speed.

Set a Baseline

To understand how fast or slow your site is actually running, run the website through Google PageSpeed Insights. This free tool will measure your site’s speed and offer suggestions for how to improve speed. This should be done as a first step, and can be repeated to monitor if any adjustments make a difference in site speed.

Updates

If your platform, plugins, or PHP (the scripting language used in web development) are out of date, the result can be slow site speeds. How do you know if your site is out of date? On your WordPress dashboard, look to the Site Health section. Here you can see which areas of your website need to be updated. In addition, checking the website’s plugins for updates, as well as removing any unused plugins, can help improve site speed.

Images and Cache

If your site has a lot of images or graphics, compressing these files can improve loading times. Better yet, you can install an image optimization plugin that will automatically compress new images and graphics as they are loaded onto your site. In addition, enabling caching can help to improve the site’s speed by temporarily storing files locally so that the site can load more quickly as the user continues to browse. Caching tools are included with WP Engine hosting and other hosts offer caching as an add-on, so check your site settings to know whether caching is enabled.

Upgrade Hosting

Each platform offers different hosting solutions and some are higher quality than others. Moving to a higher-quality host can significantly improve site speed. Hammersmith Support Premium maintenance clients enjoy the quality and speed of WP Engine through Hammersmith’s dedicated server. For some businesses, content delivery network (CDN) may be a good solution. A CDN is a group of servers geographically distributed and linked together via the internet. The servers’ purpose is to improve content delivery performance by using a server closest to the end-user.

Hammersmith Support Can Help

Each of our two maintenance packages can help solve many of the issues that come with poor site speed. And our Premium Package includes hosting through WP Engine, a dedicated server just for Hammersmith Support clients. Ready to sign up? Still have questions? Schedule a complimentary 30-minute meeting to get your questions answered.

When was the last time you looked at your business website? Like really looked at it? Chances are, you’ve been busy running your business and not putting enough time and effort into your website. Why is that a big deal? Because potential customers are going to judge your business based on your site. If it looks bad, is inaccessible via a mobile device, and or is not secure, they may decide to take their business elsewhere.

So how do you know if your site is out of date? Here are five areas to consider:

The Site Is Slow to Load

If your website takes forever to load – and by forever we mean if it’s not instantaneous – it’s slow. Consumers have high expectations: they want what they want and they want it right now. If your site takes too long to load, they are going to move on. Ensuring that your site is updated and utilizing a CDN will help it load quickly, keeping fast-moving consumers satisfied.

It’s Not Mobile Optimized

Pull up your website on your mobile device – can you see the entire site? Do all of the buttons show up? Do they work? Are the images sized correctly? If not, your website is not mobile optimized. With more than half of the world’s 3.9 billion internet users viewing websites from their mobile device, not having your site fully functional on mobile is a huge loss.

Your Content Is Old

Take a look at your about page. Is it still accurate? How about the images, the titles? Old content can be a huge red flag to consumers, not to mention confusing as well. Take time to update even tiny details and freshen up your content, it will make a big difference.

Your Micro Content Is Nonexistent

If your website is not showing your social media – or if your business social media doesn’t exist, fix it. Micro content is essential to keeping your business top of mind for consumers. Small bites of information can entice consumers because they can digest them quickly. Good micro content will point consumers to your website to find out more information, so do not miss out on that opportunity.

It Lacks Security

Does your URL have an “s” after the “http”? If not, you are running an unsecured site. While this may not seem like a big deal, if you are asking for potential customers to submit personal information like an email or phone number, they will know that their information is unsecured. In addition, Google Ranking Factors will rank your site lower if it lacks security.

Hammersmith Support Can Help

Feeling a little overwhelmed by what needs to be updated on your website? We’re here to help. Contact us to talk through your business and website goals and we’ll help make it a reality.

According to CNBC, nearly 51% of 3.9 billion Internet users worldwide access websites exclusively from their smart phones. That number is expected to increase to 71% by 2025. Those are some incredible stats! These numbers are based on search engine information alone and don’t account for users who may come to your site via social media. Knowing this information, is your website optimized for mobile viewing?

Google Ranking: Mobile First Infrastructure

In 2016, Google added Mobile First Infrastructure to their 200+ ranking system for SEO. This means that websites that are built with the mobile version of their site first are given a higher ranking. Sites that have any mobile infrastructure are given a higher ranking, but those for smart phone first are the highest.

Types of Business / Clients

Some businesses may be saying “our customers don’t use their smart phones to buy” and for some, that’s true. B2B business is more than likely not being handled on mobile devices. However, B2C business has a much higher probability of being accessed on a smart phone. Not sure how your customers are accessing your site? Enroll your website in Google Analytics and use the Audience report to see how your customers are accessing and engaging with your site.

Testing End User Experience

Lastly, if your site is optimized for mobile view, be sure to test it! Ensuring that every part of your site, from the layout to the overall look, is accessible through the mobile version is critical. In addition, the functionality of a mobile site needs to be quick to load and easy to use – in fact, the majority of smart phone users expect the mobile version of a site to load faster than on a desktop computer, and they will turn to a competitor’s site if unsatisfied with loading times or functionality.

We’re Here to Help

We would love to answer your questions about your business website and talk through any challenges and possible solutions too. Schedule your complimentary 30-minute consultation and let’s talk through your questions.