What makes a good website? Well, there are plenty of factors to consider. Everything from design to user experience counts, along with the various optimisations needed to help search engines find it. And there’s much more besides, believe us.
Luckily, we’re here to help. The team at Cognition Agency have put together this article, highlighting 5 key website best practices you should follow for success within the digital marketplace.
According to the Content Marketing Institute, over two-fifths (43%) of digital marketers increased their content budgets during 2021, and a further two thirds expect to see theirs rise again in 2022. As such, the need to create high-quality, insightful content that audiences can engage with should be on the radar of every serious web professional.
When it comes to website best practices, things to consider regarding content creation include:
- E-A-T, which stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. While there’s currently no way of measuring the success of this approach, try imagining your “dream” client – what would it take for you to win their business? What types of content would benefit them the most? These are the questions you should be asking yourself.
- Data-driven content, which could produce key insights that help elevate your overall digital marketing strategy. Make sure you put tools, people and processes in place to analyse and act on any important findings that present themselves.
- Amplification, using social media channels and perhaps emerging technologies like voice and video to potentially extend your reach – and increase rankings, too.
Content is one of the most pivotal website optimisation best practices, as ramping up its production will greatly increase the likelihood of you reaching your target audience with information they’re actually looking for. Therefore you stand a much higher chance of achieving both lead generation and conversion.
Design is another important website best practice. Your site will need to be eye-catching and engage viewers. To achieve this, clear and memorable branding must exist everywhere on-site. Elements like colours and contrasts will not only help make your aesthetics more consistent, but also affect users on a psychological level. Likewise, a well-laid-out design that's structured to ensure visitors have clear pathways will help streamline the entire user journey and keep visitors coming back for more.
Testing different looks and feels for your website can help indicate which formats and types of content work best against different design features. Also, don’t forget to include CTAs – these are the callouts that help convert viewers into leads. CTAs will need to fit into your website alongside any other existing visual assets and content you have.
If you think you’ll need some extra support improving your website’s design quality, check out our digital marketing services.
When thinking about website best practices, you must take UX into account. UX stands for “User Experience'', which affects users from the moment they arrive on your site to when they click off – hopefully not before converting though. Whether you’re looking to improve your website’s navigation or simply decrease bounce rates, having a strong UX in place will help.
Some UX elements to bear in mind on your website are:
- Responsive design: According to HubSpot, 93% of people have left a website because it didn’t display properly on their device. When a website doesn’t transition fluidly between desktop and mobile and vice versa, it disrupts the UX. This includes searches performed across different search engines.
- Functionality: This may seem obvious, but if your website doesn’t function properly, UX will suffer. Make sure you optimise your landing pages and remove any that are out of date. Remember, anyone visiting your website should know what its intended purpose is as soon as they arrive.
- Simplicity: Avoid text-heavy pages. Ensure your audience is always front of mind. Your website and UX need to resonate with them. Human thought processes, natural journeys, helpful content, and simple messaging all play a part in achieving this.
Improving UX will help streamline your website, possibly even setting it apart from those of your competitors within the digital marketplace. Once your UX is on the right track, you can rest easy knowing that one of the most important website best practices is taken care of.
SEO, which stands for “Search Engine Optimisation”, is the bread and butter of organic digital marketing. Not only can it help your website gain more visibility online, but it also increases the likelihood of you ranking highly on search engine results pages (SERPs). For any website, an effective SEO strategy can work wonders.
Inserting targeted keywords organically across on-site content is one of the simplest and most effective SEO best practices out there. Likewise, boosting organic content output while simultaneously focusing on what users are actually searching for is a surefire way to increase your overall web traffic.
Other proven SEO techniques to help make websites more visible include:
- Featuring targeted keywords within header 1 tags (H1s): The title of any webpage or blog post is called a “H1”, or “Heading 1” – search engines like Google look for keywords that are most relevant to your content and rank them accordingly, so placing these terms high up on the page is a great idea.
- Optimising title tags and meta descriptions: Placing the most focused keywords throughout both of these will not only signpost your content to search engines, but also help rank it higher.
- Making URLs short and descriptive: Simple, snappy addresses that are easy to read and include targeted keywords stand a much better chance of engaging potential consumers. And please, make sure there are no long number strings!
Collecting, analysing and reporting on overall performance are essential as far as website best practices are concerned. The results you obtain will help inform future digital marketing strategies, so knowing how best to retrieve them is invaluable.
Creating a “Measurement Framework'' is an excellent way of analysing your website. This type of framework takes the following key elements into consideration:
- Business goals: The reason you started your website in the first place – all data should reflect your business’s main goals.
- Calls-to-action (CTAs): Tasks you want users to complete when visiting your site. For example, perhaps your aim is that visitors access certain professional services based on information you’ve provided.
- Key performance indicators (KPIs): Metrics measuring the outcome of various CTAs, e.g., search click-through rate for service-related terms, search visits to your website from service-related terms or queries, etc.
If you feel like your business or brand could use some extra support in making sure that any or all of the above website best practices are met, please contact Cognition Agency for helpful expertise on your way to digital excellence.