Web design, like every other facet of marketing, has trends that change year after year. The following 6 requirements are the requirements your website needs to have in order to bring you leads and get you found in 2023.
Since 2017, your website should be mobile optimized in order to be ranked by the Google algorithm. This means, your website should respond and reorganize itself according to the size of the screen of the device you’re using to browse the internet. If your page has content areas that are too small to click on mobile, or completely fall outside of the viewer on tablet, your site will never rank properly. Even if most of your traffic visits your site using a specific device size; you should always take into consideration the rest of the 1100 or so screens in the market when designing your website’s pages.
Can you have a website that’s not SEO optimized? Of course, in fact many business owners who DIY their websites have the option to leave the valuable SEO fields empty and not use those features. However, a site that is SEO optimized, including the proper taxonomy for URLs, meta titles, meta descriptions and writing content to hit a certain keyword will be ranked in Google faster, and appear higher in the search results than a site that doesn’t. Leaving keyword search organic traffic on the table is, frankly, a choice I wouldn’t recommend.
Clear Call to Action
This is one of those where DIYers struggle the most. Your site needs – maximum – two actions you want your visitor to take when they come to your website. Your call to action can change seasonally depending on your offers, but you should stick to no more than two options. More than that, you risk your visitor experiencing analysis paralysis and being unable to choose what to do, where to go, and they will push making a decision to “later” which can quickly turn into “never.”
Collect user data via Analytics
Similar to the SEO aspect, any site on any platform can collect user data via analytics; and similar to SEO, you can leave those fields empty and choose to not collect any data. However, knowing where your visitors find you, what keywords they use to land on your website, and what is making them leave without taking action can help you improve your website content, and fine tune the way you speak about your product or service to convince them to stick around. This is an aspect where you can use the out-of-the-box platform analytics, or hire a pro to setup Google Analytics + Google Tag Manager to really understand your website traffic. Once installed, you can generate reports to help you make data-driven decisions regarding your business.
You might be posting on Youtube, TikTok, LinkedIn or Instagram; but once you place your content on those platforms, it’s no longer completely yours. I recommend that you find a posting schedule that works for you: daily, weekly, monthly or quarterly and post content on your website — then use your social media content to bring traffic back to your site. Keyword optimized blog posts are the number one way to get your site indexed by Google and start ranking for specific keywords. Big companies like Homelight and NerdWallet use the valuable content strategy to bring cold traffic to their sites and promote their products and services. While you can’t employ hundreds of freelancers to pad your keywords; you can slowly start investing time and money into creating a library of the content your potential audience is interested in. A well written, periodically updated blog will establish you as a subject matter expert, and slowly start gaining traction over time in the background while you invest in other quicker strategies to keep your funnel full now. In about 12-18 months, you will start reaping the rewards of your content strategy.
Collect email addresses
Did you freak out when you lost hundreds of followers during the last Instagram glitch? Are you obsessed with going viral on TikTok? What happens if your business page gets hacked on Facebook? Owning your own email list means you don’t have to rely on social media’s ever changing algorithm to talk directly to your ideal clients. Placing an email capture form on your website, or providing a way for you to get permission from your audience to email them is key to building that list. Bundle this feature with the content feature I mentioned above, and create a steady stream of interesting, valuable content that your potential clients can find right in their inbox; so the next time they have a need your name pops up immediately in their mind.
Is your site hitting the mark?
I have developed an in-depth Website Audit that will allow you to find out how your site is performing in each of these areas; with a set of actionable recommendations that you can put into action yourself or hire someone (me!) to perform for you.