The importance of having a website is huge regardless of the type of business you do. Website is the core component of any business’s online presence as it is the point where the traffic from all online channels converges. A well-designed website helps businesses build credibility, gain a competitive advantage, find more customers, and retain the existing ones. But the question remains as to what makes a good website? Keep on reading to find out the top 5 practices to make a business website which engages with its users and rank better in search results.
User-friendliness in simple words is the ease with which users can find what they are looking for on your business website. The easier it is for them to find the desired information, the more user-friendly a website will be. A user-friendly website has the following characteristics;
- Clear Call to Action (CTA)
CTAs play a major role in giving a high conversion rate. Your website should have relevant and easy-to-find CTA buttons which seamlessly lead customers to complete the desired transaction.
- Intuitive Navigation map
Customers land on different pages of a website depending upon the CTA button they have clicked. You must ensure that your website structure is straightforward and doesn’t lead to dead ends so the customers can easily navigate through different pages.
- Multi-device Compatibility
Customers switch between different kinds of devices (mobile, PC, and tablet) to carry out their routine activities. To give them a smooth browsing experience, your business website needs to be compatible with the devices your customers use. Most people use mobile and PC for internet surfing, and therefore, it is a good practice to have a website design that is compatible with both of them.
- Use Mobile-first Design Strategy
Since mobile users have considerably increased in the past few years, businesses now use a mobile-first strategy for web development. According to this strategy, a website is first developed for mobiles and then gradually gets built for larger screens. Mobile-first designs are more responsive and work well on all kinds of devices.
- Test your Website for Multi-device Compatibility
You can use different tools to test how your website looks and respond on different devices. Google Dev Tools is widely used for testing the multi-device compatibility of a website. It shows you how your website looks in different screen sizes and resolutions.
This might be the most common buzzword you’ve heard but its importance for website ranking can’t be stressed enough. SEO breaks down into two major categories; On-page SEO and Off-page SEO.
- On-page SEO
On-page SEO mainly refers to the activities carried out which are in your control and occur on your website i.e., Title tag, meta description, header tags, content (text, pictures, and videos), sitemap, and site architecture. On-page SEO plays a key role in the ranking of a website in search results.
- Off-page SEO
All the activities which impact your website ranking but are performed outside of your website come under off-page SEO. For example, referring URLs on other websites linking to a page on your website (backlinking). These activities determine the domain authority, relevance, and trustworthiness of a website.
- Optimized Content
Content optimization is often misunderstood as the content written for search engine crawlers only. Thereby, many people do keyword stuffing and buy backlinks to rank better in search results. While it is important that your website appears on the first page of SERPs, it is equally important for your website to contain quality content. Following are the features of high-quality content;
- Satisfies Search Intent
Satisfying the search intent means satisfying the user intent. The content on the website needs to be written and designed in consideration of the user’s expectations. For example, if a user is trying to buy a product, the content should be written in a way that provides enough information to the user to decide between buying the product or not.
Making content SEO-friendly means making it readable by the search engines. If search engines cannot read your content, they won’t index it and as a result, your web page will not be ranked. An SEO-friendly piece of content is well-structured, contains the relevant keywords, has meta-description, and holds internal and external links. Depending on the type of website, the content might also contain pictures and videos. In such a case, adding alt text to pictures and videos is recommended as it tells search engines what the content is about.
- Artificial Intelligence (AI)
The importance of using AI in web development has hugely increased in the past couple of years. Forbes listed 11 key features of a business website and all of those have a flavor of AI in one way or another. Using AI on your website can provide a better user experience and make your business operations more efficient. You can use AI on your website in the following ways;
- Conversational AI Chatbots
Basic chatbots are being used by websites to answer generic queries and FAQs but these chatbots have many limitations which can be overcome using AI. AI chatbots;
- Use data for Improvement over time
- Use Interactive Voice Response (IVR)
- Can work with different languages
- Provide more security
Implementing AI on your website allows you to shift from static A/B testing and one solution for all to a more one-on-one experience. AI can work with large datasets to provide personalized recommendations to your site visitors which leads to an increase in engagement and time on site.
These are the recommended practices most business websites must follow to achieve higher user engagement and rank better in search results. However, depending upon the nature of the business, websites need to have some additional features. For example, an eCommerce website must have user-generated reviews while a gaming website needs to be more focused on providing virtual private servers to its visitors. All these aspects can make web development a frustrating task for someone inexperienced and with no programming knowledge. It is therefore recommended to look for professional help when building a business website.
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