08 Dec 2020

Is your website ready for Google’s Page Experience update?

Google periodically launches updates to its search algorithms. Every update aims at improving the quality of search results so users can find the most relevant and useful information on Google’s search platform. What does their latest update mean for your business’s website? Any changes to the algorithm will affect how well your website will rank on Google’s search results as compared to the thousands of other competing websites.

Whether your website rankings will climb or crash will depend on how well its design and content align with Google’s new updates and search result goals.

What is Google’s Page Experience Update?

Google has announced that starting May 2021, it will include page experience signals when generating search results. In other words, if your website pages do not meet the expected user experience standards, your rankings could suffer major damage.

Signals that will indicate a site’s user experience will include some of the parameters that are already in use as search ranking factors; such as:

  • Website page load speed
  • Website’s responsiveness to mobile devices
  • Website security protocols like HTTPS/SSL
  • Safe browsing factors
  • Intrusive interstitial factors

As per the update, these performance metrics will be further fine-tuned with focus on speed, usefulness, and operability, and will fall under what Google is referring to as Core Web Vitals.

Preparing your website for Google's Page Experience Update

How can your business website prepare for the update?

Step 1 – Evaluation

When preparing your website for Google’s Page Experience update, the first order of business is to evaluate its current state. Google recently added the ‘Core Web Vitals report’ feature in Google Search Console for this purpose.

While there are many elements that will decide the state of your website’s Core Web Vitals, the new Search Console feature will evaluate website’s health under the following main UX categories:

1. Loading speed – How quickly a website loads the entire requested page including its largest image and text? Core Web Vitals report will grade website speed health using the ‘Largest Contentful Paint’ metric.

2. Interactivity – How quickly a website responds to user interactions like page clicks and scrolls? This is measured using the ‘First Input Delay’ metric.

3. Visual stability – Does the web page display content jumps and layout shifts? The ‘Cumulative Layout Shift’ metric will quantify this data.

Step 2 – Analysis & Updates

The Core Web Vitals report will grade your website under each vital section as ‘Good’, ‘Needs Improvement’ or ‘Fail’, indicating areas of website design and development that need technical assistance to match Google’s page experience standards.

Google's Core Web Vitals report will grade your website as Good, Needs Improvement or Fail

To be completely ready for the upcoming updates, and to safeguard your existing rankings and possibly improve them, your business’s website will need the skill set and technical knowledge of a website design and development company. The website design team will analyse the evaluation report and create a list of technical changes that must be incorporated to improve your website’s Core Web Vital score.

For example – Making necessary changes on the website to protect it from intrusive interstitials penalty. This means changing anything on the website that is not allowing for easy access of the website content; such as a pop-up on a landing page that conceals the main content.

Even if your business website was recently developed, with the forthcoming updates it is quite likely that your website may still need improvements so it can not only avoid Google penalties, but also benefit from these updates.

Contact WebFX website design and development company in the Caribbean for professional assistance and technical web expertise, to help your business website get ready for the upcoming changes.

WebFX offers website solutions to businesses in various Caribbean countries including Trinidad and Tobago, Antigua, Barbados, St. Lucia, Grenada, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

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15 May 2020

Five Characteristics Of An Effective Website

With the advent and advancement of internet technology, we have come to expect all kinds of information to be present online. Smartphones have taken information accessibility to the next level by bringing the entire data of the world-wide web in the palm of our hand. Searching the internet for information has become second nature to us. Thousands of users around the globe are actively searching for products and services online. Businesses of all types are creating websites ready to allow these visitors into their online business portal.

A website visitor spends time on a website gathering information. The information they seek can be generic or specific to the businesses’ products and services. The visitors are generally looking for information that fall under the following category:

1. Phone Number

2. About and FAQ Section

3. Product Details

4. Service Details

5. Blog Content

6. Complete Physical Address

7. Email ID

8. Social Media Buttons

9. Work Portfolio

10. Contact Form

 planning business website content

Consider the points mentioned above when planning business website content. This will ensure all the necessary information a potential customer is searching for, is included in the business website. The effectiveness of a website will depend on how easily this data can be found on the website, and how long the visitors are going to stay on the website. The following points will guide you to build a business website which successfully meets this objective.

Top Five Characteristics Of An Effective Website

1. Secure – Security is a big concern for everyone both online and offline. Since online transactions and data sharing is a relatively new concept in the business world, a secure website has to be in the top of the list. A business website must follow all safety measures to protect the integrity and confidentiality of the information being shared between the user’s device and the business website. Https and secure payment gateways are some of the measure taken to assure website security.

2. High Speed – Website load speed must not exceed 5 seconds. A slow website kills conversion because users online have hundreds of options to choose from. If a website does not load quickly, they will move on to the next one. A slow website also reflects poorly on business’s credibility, harming its reputation online. Speed optimization techniques such as CSS and Javascript minification, browser caching, and reducing server response time are some of the techniques used by website development teams to achieve a high speed high performance website.

3. Easy Navigation – Keeping website navigation simple and smooth adds to the convenience of the visitors. Easy navigation equals to easy accessibility to desired information. This will allow website visitors to quickly find what they are looking for, and will also encourage them to spend more time on the website discovering new pages.

keep website navigation simple

4. Clean Look & Feel – Website design and development technology has come a long way. It has given rise to a plethora of website features and trends. With a myriad of exciting options available, websites can end up incorporating more than what is needed. Avoid cluttering the website by always keeping your business website objective in sight. Do not confuse your visitors with too many flashy features. Keep the website look clean and fresh.

5. Meta Tags – Title tag and meta description are two of the most important On-page SEO factors. When a business website appears on a search result, users get to read the content inserted in your Title tag and meta Description. Hence, these will also serve as your first marketing message for your potential customers. Based on the content of these meta tags, users will decide whether they want to visit your website, or not. The meta tags of a page must be consistent with the content of that page. If the visitors do not find what was promised in the Title and Description, they will quickly leave your website, increasing website bounce rate.

Is your business website successfully attracting and engaging online visitors? Use the points above to find out how effective is a business website’s design and development. Once this is accomplished, your website will be able to enjoy a perpetual supply of organic visitors looking for value and information your business can provide.

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27 Feb 2020

Does Your Business Website Need A Re-Design?

Your business website is perhaps one of the most important components of your digital marketing structure. It represents your company’s brand identity online, and connects you to thousands of potential buyers in the digital space. It’s an online property where your business products, services and business persona are up on display 24/7.

Being a crucial part of your digital marketing plan, a business website needs to be up to date and up to the mark. If your website was built quite a while back, chances are, it’s outdated and unable to keep up with changing technology and customer navigation behaviour. In short, you are losing valuable customers every day.

A well designed and well maintained website incorporated with current website design and development technology, lets users know that your business is trustworthy. If you haven’t already, here are 5 reasons why you need to consider website re-design for your business.

A well designed and well maintained website incorporated with current website design and development technology, lets users know that your business is trustworthy. If you haven’t already, here are 5 reasons why you need to consider website re-design for your business.

Five Reasons to Consider Website Re-design:

1. Website Supports Outdated Look and Layout:

It’s impossible for a dull website with outdated layout to compete against interesting options that come with latest design trends. Design trends that are created to grab attention and engage with website visitors. With an excess of impeccably designed websites with attractive features like hand-made illustrations and responsive logos, visitors will click out of an aesthetically unexciting site, without the slightest consideration.

Users take about 50 milliseconds to form an opinion about your website and decide whether they’ll stay or leave (source: sweor.com). If your website is still stuck with a dated look, it’s time to give it a facelift.

update your website regularly

2. Website Is Not User-Friendly:

Users reach your website looking for information. And, the design and navigation structure of your website must support this need. Anything that hinders this must be fixed on your website. There are many factors that affect user experience. Fast site load speed, easy access navigation bar, and breadcrumbs for a large site with multi-layered url structure, all these factors ultimately lead to an excellent user experience.

Simplicity is the key here. The easier it is for your visitors to find what they are looking for, the longer they will stay on your website.

3. Website Is Not Responsive:

There are many ways users can access your website. Internet connectivity is not restricted to desktops and laptops anymore. They have become portable with the advent of mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. Website design and structure needs to adapt to this, and adopt a responsive design and layout which supports all device types.

Get mobile friendly website for your business

57% of internet users say they won’t recommend a business with a poorly designed website on mobile (source: sweor.com). A responsive website automatically modifies itself to fit perfectly with the device type its being called from. This ensures a clean and user-friendly website design, no matter what device is used to access it.

4. Website Does Not Reflect Brand Identity:

Take a good look at your website. Does it include all visible elements of your brand’s identity? Does it create a clear image of your brand in your customers’ minds? These visible elements like logo, design and colour scheme help create distinct brand persona and send out the right message to the right audience.

Brand identity is necessary for creating a positive and dependable image for your brand that can support consistent flow of sales and conversion.

5. Website Is Missing Digital Marketing Components:

A website is one of the most important integrant of your digital marketing strategy. But it can only participate in a digital marketing plan if it has all the necessary components in place. Starting from high quality content to social buttons, opt-in page and email subscription option, adding these tools to your business website is necessary for the success of a comprehensive digital marketing plan.

Website design trends will continue evolving as technology keeps pushing for better solutions and enhanced customer experience. Keep your business website fresh and take advantage of these new trends and technology for optimum user experience and successful digital marketing campaigns.

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