In this week’s blog, we’ll be looking at the top ten best practices for websites in 2022.
It isn’t difficult to think how easy it is to get a website up and running with ease nowadays.
The question is: is your website working?
Are you getting the leads that you need to grow your business through that website?
We often say that your website should be the cornerstone of all of your marketing efforts.
The two main reasons we say this is because your website is the one marketing piece that is 100% controlled by you and is the best place to capture buyer and seller leads.
As such, it’s important to your business that you get the most out of your website.
Here are the top ten best practices for websites this year.
Best Practices for Websites #1. A Clean Website Design
First and foremost: less is more.
You want to have a good balance between art and content.
Always consider your viewer’s cognitive load, making sure that they don’t get too overloaded with the wrong thing.
You want the content to be more important than the beauty.
There are two effective ways to do this: establish a visual hierarchy and make good use of white space. Visual hierarchy is all about knowing what image or content should be placed where, while white space is knowing how far apart the content should be.
Best Practices for Websites #2. Consistent Branding
In one of our previous posts, we talked about how important it is to have a strong brand identity.
You want your viewers and potential clients to know who your business is and what it stands for.
As such, that identity needs to be consistent in all of your marketing tools, including your website.
From your website header, favicon, footer, and all of your pages, your identity needs to be present and seen throughout your website.
It will be easier for your brand to stick to your leads’ minds when you have consistency as a core value.
Best Practices for Websites #3. Clear Calls-to Action
Calls-to-action (CTA) are what you use to drive your leads to conversion into customers or clients.
Whether your CTA may be driving the viewer to order a product, or having them contact you for a consultation, it should be clear to the viewer what you are driving them to do after seeing the content on your website.
So, how do you make sure your CTA is as effective as it can be?
Let’s look at the HoopJumper website as an example.
There are a few things to take note of here.
You have a clear one liner that tells the viewer what the company is all about, then right under it is a button that directs you to what you must do to take advantage of the services.
The contact button is spread across the different parts of the page, and has a colored background so viewers can more easily see it.
Make use of these tips when creating CTAs and you’ll see stronger results.
Best Practices for Websites #4. Engaging Visuals
If you’re the kind of person that reads books to children, you know for a fact that using books that don’t have any images in them don’t really appeal to your audience.
They want to see pictures because it’s the visuals that help them understand the story. Website viewers are similar: short attention spans, low tolerance for text-heavy content, and an affinity for engaging visual elements.
A lot of websites fail to draw viewers because they have too much text and very few engaging images. Remember this phrase: “show, don’t tell.”
Find a balance between the text you put into the page and the images that back the content up.
Product screenshots are especially impactful in the tech and software space. They help users understand what the product does and what sort of experience they can expect, without lengthy and technical descriptions.
Best Practices for Websites #5. Optimized for Search Engines
If you integrate SEO best practices into your website, you’re more likely to land a high-ranking placement on search engine results pages (SERPs) and get more website visitors.
You can use targeted keywords throughout your website to do this. Search engines track sites for relevant keywords searched by users. The more effectively your content speaks to the content your users are after, the more organic traffic you’ll land.
Here are some additional ways to optimize your website for search engines.
Responsive design: It isn’t just a web design standard, responsive web design is rewarded with better SERP rankings by Google.
Relevant header tag (H1): The header tag (or H1) will be the headline of a page or the title of a post. Search engines target H1’s for keywords, so make sure that you’re including the most relevant information in your headline. You don’t want to bloat your headline with keywords simply for SEO performance. Remember your website is for real people, so finding a balance between SEO performance, clarity, and style is key.
Proper title tags and meta descriptions: Relevant title tags and meta descriptions help search engines understand the content on a page and index it appropriately. A page’s title tag and meta description are shown whenever that page appears in search engine results.
Use short descriptive URLs: A simple URL that’s readable for humans (not a long string of numbers) will often contain keywords.
Acquire relevent links from other high-quality websites: If popular, high authority websites link to your website, there’s a good chance those links will bring new users and increased overall traffic.
Integrating SEO principles in your website will increase the organic traffic, potential customers, and visibility you receive.
Best Practices for Websites #6. Mobile Responsiveness
Mobile responsiveness should be a priority when building your website. According to 2021 research by Statista, mobile devices make up 54.4% of global website traffic.
We’ve already discussed before that most website viewers look at your website via their mobile device (smartphone or tablet).
As such, if you want to make your viewers engage with your website more, you have to ensure that they can properly see your website and its contents when viewed on mobile devices.
Make your website mobile-friendly and you’ll see an increase in engagement from your website viewers.
Of course, there are a lot of considerations when designing your website for mobile viewing, including the limitations of viewing on a mobile device, but the changes you make will be a good thing. They make for a leaner, more digestible website.
With a mobile-friendly design, you can make your viewers’ experience better, no matter how they engage with your content.
Best Practices for Websites #7. Accessibility
Not all of your website visitors are going to be able to view your website normally, so you need to consider accessibility as a factor when building your website.
Accessibility means designing websites and applications that can be used by individuals who have visual, motor, auditory, speech, or cognitive disabilities.
There are a few ways you can make your website accessible to individuals that have such disabilities:
- Make use of contrasting colors: People with visual difficulties need more contrast in certain areas of the page so they can differentiate them.
- Use text labels or patterns: this is so those with visual challenges can discern information. Other visual cues, like bold or underlined text or using shapes and different sizes, can also be effective ways to deliver your content.
- Support keyboard navigation: People with motor disabilities, visual impairment, and other disabilities are often dependent on a keyboard to navigate content. You can “scroll” through interactive content, like links, buttons, and text fields, using the “Tab” button on a keyword. It’s important to put key information into these interactive features and not just in your copy so that users with impairments can engage with your content.
If you are not sure whether your website is accessible or not to those with the above impairments, you can make use of accessibility auditing services, or we can also implement them for you.
Best Practices for Websites #8. Fast Site Loading Speed
Anyone who’s visited any website is always concerned with how much time they’re going to spend looking at the loading screen.
Time is essential for every website viewer, so you want to make sure that your site is loading as fast as possible so it doesn’t discourage your viewers to just click away and visit another website.
Additionally, the faster your website loads, the better your search engine ranking will be as platforms like Google and Bing do consider site speed when determining your website’s search ranking.
Make use of free utilities such as PageSpeedInsights to give you analysis of how fast your website loads. These utilities can also give you some recommendations on how you can improve your site speed.
You should also consider how much content there is on your website. If you have a lot of videos, instead of uploading them directly on your website, try uploading them on sites like Vimeo or YouTube then embedding them on your website to make them load faster.
As for images, don’t always use the original size. Some images, especially ones bought from stock sites are too large and cause the website to load at a much slower speed, so optimize the photos for the best combination of size and quality.
Best Practices for Websites #9. Intuitive Navigation
Once you get your viewers interested with the content on the homepage, you’ld want to make sure that they don’t spend the next 30 minutes just trying to figure out where they should be clicking in order to go to the page they want to visit.
Make sure your navigation bar and your links are clear and obvious so your viewers can explore your website and its content intuitively.
There are a few ways to do this:
- Use clear language, one that everybody understands. Some of the most common words found in navigation menus are “About”, “Services”, “Products”, and “Contact”.
- If your website has less content, make your navigation as simple as possible. If you have a lot of content that your viewers can go to, then expand your navigation, but keep it specific to make the pages easy to find.
- Make use of “breadcrumbs”. Breadcrumbs track and display where a user is on a website. They let a user easily return to a previous page by retracing their steps. Breadcrumbs are especially useful for content-heavy websites and ecommerce shops.
If your website visitors can find what they’re looking for faster and easier, converting them into customers or clients will be faster and easier as well.
Best Practices for Websites #10. A/B Testing
A/B Testing is an effective way of finding out which design or content placement works better for your viewers.
You can set a specific time when doing an A/B test of your webpages, then after that time you can go to view the website stats to see which of the pages had more engagement.
Collecting the right data takes the guesswork out of website optimization. You can make decisions based on statistical data, which is always a good design practice.
Best practices for websites keep getting updated every year, so you need to be up to speed with the latest in order to keep your website effective as a marketing tool.
There is no easy way to build an effective, powerful website, but with the right help you can make sure you are getting the most out of your website.
HoopJumper customizes websites with a unique visually appealing homepage focused on getting your ideal client to contact you.
We also incorporate the best integrations for the driving engine within your pages that provide a superior customer experience and help with search engine optimization, all on a custom branded platform that is the cornerstone of ALL of your online and offline marketing.
Get your ideal client to contact you today. Contact us today and let us help you build a website that works for you!