It amazes me that there are still several major corporations and businesses that choose not to address major web design issues which affect both user experience and search ranking on their website.

In this article I will share 5 major factors that are often missed as part of the web design process which can potentially boost your online engagement.

1. Make your website mobile friendly

[click_to_tweet tweet=”Mobile accounts for approximately 51.1% of web traffic worldwide.  #stats #webdesign @nextoronto” quote=”Mobile accounts for approximately 51.1% of web traffic worldwide. ” theme=”style3″]

Mobile search has officially surpassed desktop search yet there are still companies with websites that are not mobile friendly.  If your website is developed in WordPress, you can just replace your theme with a premium theme from themeforest.net. You’ll likely need to format your content but this would be a recommended course of action.

If you’d like to test your website for responsiveness there are a few ways. There are several online tools which allow you to test your website for responsiveness such as Am I Responsive tool. You can also use the Google Mobile Friendly Test which tests your website for responsiveness.

Result from Google Mobile-Friendly Test

Result from Google Mobile-Friendly Test

You can also download the Mobile Responsive Web Design Tester which is a chrome extension that I personally like to use for testing website responsiveness for different devices and dimensions.

2. Install an SSL certificate

[click_to_tweet tweet=”One study has shown that having an SSL certificate can increase a conversion rates as high as 42% for an eCommerce website. #webdesign @nextoronto” quote=”One study has shown that having an SSL certificate can increase a conversion rates as high as 42% for an eCommerce website.” theme=”style3″]

There are several options for installing SSL. If you’re hosting your website with SiteGround web hosting, they provide Let’s Encrypt for free.

If you are using another web hosting company, you can setup an account with CloudFlare for free which provides SSL in addition to CDN support.

If you’re running a WordPress website, installing an SSL certificate is only part of the solution. If you have any mixed content issues you can install the plugin Really Simple SSL.

3. Improve your On-Page SEO

on page seoThere are many factors that are widely debated by SEO experts. In fact you can ask 10 online experts what they thing are the most important factors and you’ll likely get 10 different answers as there are several factors to consider.

If you’re running a WordPress website then I highly recommend installing the plugin YOAST which has become almost a standard plugin for WordPress SEO. This plugin allows you to easily manage your title tags, meta descriptions, XML sitemaps, social media and more.

For basic on-page SEO make sure the HTML elements such as title tag, H1 tag, page URL’s, image alt tags and content all include your target keyword or phrase.

4. Improve your site speed

Google has been quite clear that page speed is a ranking factor and not to mention having a slow website can affect user experience and affect the conversion.

[click_to_tweet tweet=”If a page takes longer than 3 seconds to load, over a quarter of users will click away #webdesign @nextoronto” quote=”If a page takes longer than 3 seconds to load, over a quarter of users will click away ” theme=”style3″]

You can test your page using tools like GT Metrix and Pingdom Website Speed Test.

page speed seoThink of a time you went to a website and it took too long to load. How frustrating is that experience and was your reaction? Chances are you probably left that website and went to alternative website that loaded faster. Leaving a website is called “bounce rate” or the percentage of users who visited a webpage on your site and left. You can get this data through Google Analytics assuming you have it installed.

One of the biggest culprits is the use of large images on a website. The size of your websites images can hinder your page speed which is why it’s important to optimize your images. You can either compress images using online tools available, resave them in Photoshop or by simply installing WordPress plugins which can batch compress images which I’ve found more efficient.

There are several WordPress page speed plugins such as WP Rocket and WP Supercache which can address several other issues which can impact your loading time such as adding page caching, compress JS and CSS files or load images on request rather than all at once.

Every second counts and having a website that loads from 5 seconds to 3 seconds could decrease your bounce rate as much as 30%.

5. Accelerated Mobile Pages

accelerated mobile pages

Accelerated Mobile Pages or AMP is a framework developed by Google with collaboration with Twitter to provide a better experience when viewing content on mobile devices. It has been widely adopted by several media outlets.

This powerful platform delivers content directly from the search results that load lightening fast thus providing a better user experience. Google made an announcement in 2018 that it will push for adding AMP technology as a standard.

If you’re running a WordPress website, AMP is ideal for blog posts as it deliver the content faster stripping away any unnecessary scripts.

Since AMP improves user experience, you can expect lower bounce rates, increase engagement, reduce load time on your sever and provide the opportunity for your content to be featured in the AMP carousel in the mobile search results.

Summary

  • Make sure your website is responsive to work on all devices.
  • Install an SSL certificate.
  • Make sure target keywords are used in HTML elements such as title tag, h1, content and page URL’s.
  • Try to improve your page speed score to load under 3 seconds.
  • Install AMP on your website.