If you want your website to perform well, it has to meet certain web design and digital marketing standards. Though looks are important, the core functionality is what matters the most in terms of traffic and conversion rate. Furthermore, this means bad news for those who haven’t updated their website in recent years. Web standards evolve rapidly and chances are that your site doesn’t meet the minimum web design and digital marketing standards. When you decide to invest into upgrading your website, make sure it will incorporate at least the following features:
1. Compatibility Across All Devices
Globally, the number of mobile Internet users has surpassed the number of desktop Internet users in 2016. What’s more, 75.1% of U.S. Internet users access the Internet via mobile. Needless to say, the numbers are still growing in favor of mobile Internet usage. This is why it’s essential to make your website compatible with all devices – mobile, tablet and desktop. Responsive web design is what you’ll need.
2. CMS Integration
A Content Management System (CMS) provides a simple interface for managing the content on your website without coding knowledge. Any business needs to update its site with new information, and a CMS is perfect for that. All reputable web design agencies build websites based on a CMS nowadays, but don’t forget to ask questions about it if you’re starting fresh. Having your website based on a CMS can also improve your online branding, customer service, and facilitates extensibility.
3. Website Tracking
A website tracking system provides statistical data about your visitor traffic and aggregates the data into meaningful reports. The goal is to help you make website management decisions to improve your conversions (placing an order, signing up for a newsletter, etc.). For example, you can check the places on your website where visitors leave before completing a desired action.
4. Fundamental Security
Web security breaches occur more often if a website doesn’t meet the current web standards. Your site should at least implement privacy protocols such as basic security checks. In case your site is based on WordPress, it’s best to have some additional security features installed, and regular updates of the WordPress version are critical.
5. Fast Loading Times
Having your site optimized for speed even with slow Internet connections is critical in today’s search engine optimization (SEO) best practices. In fact, site speed is one of Google’s signals used by its algorithm to rank pages. Unsurprisingly, pages with slow load time have higher bounce rates and lower average time on page. In other words, visitors will quickly leave a slow-loading site and probably won’t return any time soon.
6. On-page SEO
Every website requires search engine optimization (SEO) to be relevant in search engine results. On-page SEO involves tweaking your site in a way that helps search engines know what your site is exactly about. Optimizations may include title tags, page hierarchy, using the right keywords, and more. If you meet these SEO factors, you’ll rank higher in search engine result pages and potentially improve your conversion rate.
7. Social Media Integration
Major platforms such as Facebook or Twitter provide an opportunity to spread the word about your business and unite your customer base. Interaction with your followers is also a key factor in your business growth. You can communicate with your fans at any time through social media. At a minimum, your site should include social media sharing buttons.
8. Conversion Tools
One of the best ways to convert visitors into clients is to create compelling landing pages. For this, you need tools to create campaign landing pages with conversion in mind. Such tools allow you to make your own landing pages or use ready-made ones. Landing pages offer you a great opportunity to improve your conversion rate, so don’t miss out on this option.
9. Email Marketing
One of the ‘seasoned’ digital marketing standards, email marketing is still an effective way to reach people who have expressed interest in your product or site. When implemented properly, email marketing can be a great channel to help you increase sales. To achieve this, you will need email capture forms synced with your email marketing system.
Following these minimum digital marketing standards will ensure that your business maintains the potential to grow. As long as you and your web design agency work together on these features, you’ll have a strong starting point from a marketing perspective.
Not sure if you should have your website redesigned? Learn when you should have your website redesigned here. If you’re planning to hire a web design agency, check out these 10 questions to ask a web design agency before hiring them.