Website Redesign Tips to Put You at the Top This Year
May 21, 2018
Throughout all the search engine optimization and Google ranking hype, many site owners forget that the most important part of your website is the audience it’s reaching. Catering your site to Google bots will help in some ways, but not in others. The target audience is the reason most sites are looking to improve ranking anyway, so why not start at the beginning with your best foot forward.
2018 has been a big year for tech and search engine controversy, leaving many websites examining their policies and practices. Here are a few website redesign tips that could make it smoother sailing for your business.
Make Each Experience the Best Experience
Your users are coming at you from all directions, meaning you’ve got some men and women reaching out from a laptop at home, while others are browsing from a desktop at the office, and others still are tuning in from mobile devices such as smart phones and iPads in the hopes of gathering new information, new products, or new services while they go about their daily activities.
Since the method of a site visit isn’t always clear until you have a definitive user count and can see where most of your followers are coming from, it’s important to cater your website to everybody. That’s right, not just the laptops and desktops of the world, but all the devices and individuals who may visit your site. This is where Google’s latest mobile-first indexing algorithms have been leading most website owners anyway, but there are still some who have yet to take the plunge, and it could be the defining factor in ranking and popularity among competitor sites.
Design gurus are urging clients to commit to a redesign that allows users from all devices to access the same information at the same speeds. For some sites, this might mean foregoing some of the flashier graphics and embedded videos, but for the most part, it shouldn’t deviate from your original layout too much. Mobile display has evolved so much over the past few years that it’s becoming synonymous with desktop layout design. Take the time to determine what will or won’t load properly, what will slow the site from loading and essentially lead clients to another site, as well as what materials will be viewed at their proper length and width, and which will become skewed when viewed through a smaller device.
Consider Progressive Web Apps
Along with the first tip to involve all users from all devices when considering layout and design, using PWA or progressive web apps will also help you in your efforts for a more user-friendly layout. Accelerated Mobile Pages, or AMPs, were the standard for site design prior to the PWA release and work differently. An open source platform, AMPs uses Java Script to load pages, rather than the standard HTML, and it helps data load more quickly and efficiently when searching from a desktop or laptop computer but isn’t always compatible with mobile device viewing. Alternatively, PWAs require no updates as time progresses, has no code base of its own to worry about, and works quickly regardless of the device it is being loaded through.
Progressive Web Apps are fast becoming the industry standard when developers don’t have access to build their own apps for a site. They are user friendly, making it easy for any site visitor to maneuver the site and have a positive experience in the process. Unfortunately, these apps are finicky with iOS devices, an issue that is still being worked on to improve Apple user experiences, and there are some features which are unsupported, such as camera, contacts, and browser, but overall it is something to consider for your future redesign.
Use Less Code
Not only will it save you time and money in the long run, but using simple, clean code, instead of over the top intricate coding will bode well with large search engines like Google. If you want your site to be noticed, not only by your client base, but by search engine bots creeping around the web in search of genuine functional sites, consider reducing your code.
One of the main reasons less code is key in 2018 is because of the time it takes to load a page with more advanced coding. Google has made it clear in their most recent round of algorithm updates that websites which take longer than 3-seconds to load will be considered second tier to those who load in time to save face with their customer base. Research has confirmed that site visitors will wait approximately 3-seconds before exiting a site and heading to the next one on the Google results page due to impatience. The internet has become more than a convenience to most; it is a necessity, and not everyone has the time to wait for a page to load interactive graphics and fancy design.
While it’s important to put your user first, website design is certainly taking a turn toward the utilitarian rather than the aesthetically pleasing. If a redesign is in the works for your site, it’s recommended that you take some time to evaluate where its current strengths and weaknesses lie in terms of search engine optimization and functionality. The two almost always go hand in hand. If you can make your site better for users, you can almost guarantee that there is a higher chance of it being recognized by search engines to help give you an edge over competitors.