Spluttering and wheezing their way into your professional reputation, a sick website can quickly trigger an epidemic in your business.
Ailing contact options, impaired SEO structure and a nauseating navigation menu can all be fatal to your bottom line – and, unfortunately, queasy websites don’t quite have the same philosophy towards recovery as, say, your mother when you tried to pull a sickie before Sports Day.
Telling your website to suck it up and soldier on is like looking at your broken printer and deciding it would benefit from a nice, swift kick. It might feel good at the time – cathartic, even – but ultimately you still can’t print your meeting agenda!
Websites are a similar animal. Shouting “load faster, will you” is not going to help it fulfil its purpose – to position your business as the dependable, trustworthy and experienced solution. Only a rosy-cheeked website that’s slicker-than-your average will do that.
Thankfully, website ailments are rarely chronic and, as always, prevention is better than cure.
Straighten your stethoscope and pull up your sleeves – it’s time to administer the antidote, with our Healthy Website Checklist.
1. Optimise for mobile
In 2013, mobile phones made up 16.2% of website traffic worldwide. In 2018, this increased to 52.2%.
When a website isn’t optimised for mobile users, it’s hard to pass your business off as progressive or innovative.
As a most basic symptom, you’ll be making the website difficult to use for a significant chunk of your audience – and it’s only going to block your pipeline.
The increasing use of mobile devices is a trend you can rely on, so make optimisation a priority.
2. Consider your SEO
If a search engine can’t find your website, then neither can potential customers – it’s an absolute cornerstone of whether the website actually does its job or not.
Building a swish website that nobody can find is the equivalent of buying the latest iPad and locking it in a glass box. Nice to look at, sure, but it doesn’t actually do anything – and certainly nothing it was designed to do (while we’re at it, you should also consider giving your business credit card to… well… literally anybody else).
Knowledge of even basic SEO principles will help you out of this bind.
Checking that your site is fully crawlable, properly indexed, has relevant meta data and – critically – uses relevant, well-researched keywords is vital to overall website health.
3. Create clean content
Great content keeps users engaged and shows those all-important search engines that they need to take you seriously.
Website content that’s difficult to digest, gives false information, speaks to the wrong audience or is simply a babble of self-promotion is nothing short of repellent to users. Why not pay for ads that promote your competitors and cut out the middleman? They’re going to go there anyway!
Rather, your content should have an acute understanding of exactly who your user is and what they need (after all, it’s about them, not you) as well as being well-written and visually appealing.
You also need to bear in mind how easy this content is to find once they land on your website. Navigation should be clear and consistent, so the user doesn’t need to jump through hoops just to find relevant information. Why should they even bother to keep looking if they can’t easily find what they’re looking for?
A complete content strategy is far more comprehensive than this, but giving your users an experience that’s informative, easy to digest and even enjoyable to engage with is a strong place to start.
4. Share your social media
A website rarely works in isolation, and your users are most likely using a wide array of digital resources to find the information they need.
Ensuring that your website includes links to your social media will help you to build the strong customer relationships that are borne from ongoing engagement and content-sharing.
This will, again, work best alongside an overarching content and social media strategy which will seamlessly promote your brand. However, to get your website out of a slump, making sure that you direct your users to relevant social media (which you are keeping up to date, of course) will help to organically raise your profile.
5. Don’t let your site speed lose momentum
Nothing screams ‘first world problems’ like your blood pressure spiking over a webpage that takes ten seconds to load.
Nonetheless, we live in fast-paced times, and asking somebody to be patient while your contact page loads is simply the equivalent of pressing the ‘back’ button on their behalf.
You can keep your site speed in check by compressing images and files, reducing unneeded JavScript and – of course – by investing in more efficient hosting.
Follow these steps and your website will soon be on the mend.
However, this is really only just the start.
To give your website a health check worthy of the NASA candidate program, start your voyage with Intergage and talk to us about a digital marketing audit today.
Alternatively, take a smaller step and request a free digital marketing competitors report to gain insight into how your competitors’ websites are doing and what digital marketing tactics they’re using.