As a small business owner it is not expected that you learn all the ins and outs of website design or web development, and build your own website. However when making the investment to have your website developed or redesigned, it’s important to have an understanding of what it needs to include and what the website should look like, to ensure you get the most out of your money.

The key to a brilliant website design is making it as user friendly AND Google-friendly as possible.

To help out small business owners we have listed 5 website design features essential for every website across any industry in 2017;

 

Mobile Friendly Website Design

 
Having a mobile friendly website design, also known as responsive website design, is no longer an option, it’s vital. Since Google introduced their mobile friendly algorithm update in April 2015, known as Mobilegeddon, having a responsive website design is a MUST if you want to rank well in Google (and let’s be honest – who doesn’t!?). A responsive website is designed so that no matter what device a user is on (mobile, tablet, laptop, desktop) the website adapts and looks great and works effectively across all devices.

SEO: Search Engine Optimisation

 
You have possibly heard of SEO but may not be aware what the acronym stands for, or what it actually means. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation, which essentially is designing and developing a website that search engines, such as Google, Bing and Yahoo, can easily read. Therefore if search engines can easily read the content, it will provide a high page ranking to relevant searches your website contains information on.

Building a visually appealing, user friendly website design is counter-productive if it’s not showing in user searches for them to click on, and view. A bit like the saying “If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there, does it still make a sound?”. If you have a brilliant website design that no-one clicks on and views, is it in fact a brilliant website design? We think not.

Google Analytics Tracking

 
Adding a Google Analytics tracking code allows you to monitor visitors to your website. Analysing your audience demographics, where you are acquiring them from, what pages they’re viewing and what devices they are using can go a long way to understanding your audience behaviour and their needs. In turn this data can show areas for improvement in your website design, a need to localise SEO and what content topics are popular, therefore write further articles on.

Most website building platforms, such as Wix and Weebly, have a designated tab in their settings to enter a Google Analytics Code, where as Content Management Systems, like WordPress, require a plugin such as Google Analytics+ and Google Analytics by MonsterInsights (formerly by Yoast). Although many website design themes now have them built in for user ease.

For assistance in adding Google Analytics to your website, contact our digital marketing team.

Site Speed: Quick Website Loading Time

 
In this day and age, we are all time poor, therefore website performance is critical. So much so that 40% of web browsers will abandon a page after only waiting for three seconds for it to load! Consequently a quick loading site is critical to keep those impatient users on your website.

The biggest killer in slowing down site speed are oversized images. If you find your site to be slow at loading page content, increase the site speed by decreasing image sizes (but be sure not to go too small that you lose quality and the image becomes blurry). You could also investigate alternative loading possibilities such a infinite scroll or ‘load more’ options.

Phone Number: Clear & Clickable

 
Your business phone number or contact button needs to be clearly visible on each and every page of your website. Most website design themes now have an option known as a sticky header, where your website header can remain as a banner across the top of the screen at all times, with the remainder of the screen scrolling down through the content on the page. This is a great place to put your business logo and phone number so they can be seen by users at all times.

Not only are people becoming increasingly impatient, pushing for optimal site speed, we are also becoming increasingly lazy. Having your phone number displayed on each page, for most mobile users is still not enough. Trying to copy and paste the number, toggling back and forth between your website and the phone app, memorising it or writing down your phone number have all become too much effort! The answer? A clickable phone number where users simply click on the number for it to dial through to your business.

In October 2016 a Google study revealed that more Google searches are happening on a smartphone than desktops, with 40% of users only searching on a smartphone device, proving this website design feature really is a must for 2017.

 

Does your website have these five fundamental features? To implement these essential elements and discuss further improvements to your website design, contact our Berwick office on 03 9702 2441.