Even the most stunning examples of web design can be improved, but many small business owners seem to be slow to adapt to changing conditions. Whether they need adjustments in terms of UI or SEO, site operators often take too long to roll out changes and have an unoptimised website. This gives their competition an opportunity to attract clients who might have become dissatisfied with lackluster service.
If you’re running an unoptimised website, then there’s a good chance there’s something you can do to ensure that you’re not losing business. Loading speed is more than likely the best place to start. Aggressive firms are hiring business coaches and growth experts, so it’s a good idea to start as soon as possible.
Cutting website loading speed in half
A number of developers have found new tricks that have helped them to cut the loading time of some sites in half. Considering how much unnecessary code they’ve taken out of the style sheets of these pages, this isn’t anywhere near as unbelievable as it might sound. Even those who’ve seen more down-to-earth improvements have still been able to dramatically speed up the sites that they’re working with.
CSS style sheet optimization has been the most profitable way to do this. Ditching tabs, using CSS shorthand modifiers and pruning framework resets can all help to cut down on the amount of rendering that has to be done by a client’s browser. This is especially important for mobile users.
Eliminating unnecessary videos and other bits of active content can also help, but it’s important to keep in mind that you don’t have to sacrifice functionality for the sake of speed. In fact, user experience is every bit as important of a concern.
Dealing with UX-related site issues
According to marketing experts, something as simple as clearly marking clickable objects can improve your users’ overall experience. If online shoppers aren’t entirely sure where they’re supposed to navigate to, then they might not be so keen to spend money on a site. For that matter, they might not even know how to spend their money even if they had wanted to.
Providing users with a clear headline on each page and a set of fast-loading images is another excellent idea. New image technologies like AVIF and WebP have been quickly adopted by an overwhelming majority of browsers. While mobile devices have been slower to adapt to them, these too now support them so there really isn’t a reason to avoid them at this point. Customers will gravitate toward sites that don’t look awkward on their devices, so it’s become important to keep up with these trends.
All of the technical sophistication in the world won’t mean much if shoppers aren’t able to find your site, however, which means that SEO is arguably more important than any other consideration when you’re trying to rebuild a site.
SEO considerations for eCommerce operators
According to one study, more than 30 percent of all eCommerce traffic is from organic searches. That means you could be losing around 1/3 of potential business to other operators if your site isn’t properly indexed.
Ironically, some of these other techniques may help to improve search ranking. Google, Bing and most other modern search engines downrate sites that load poorly. Using too many keywords or stuffing them in links can also cause your site to rate low on the major engines.
In general, links shouldn’t try to rank for keywords too often. Sites that have links to an “About Us” or “Contact Us” page actually tend to rank higher than those that try various tricks. If your site doesn’t have this kind of content, then there’s a good chance that one of your competitors does and is more than willing to capitalize on the disparity.
Alt tags are an often forgotten part of the SEO process, but you can again trust that your competition is already setting detailed ones. These extra descriptors tell search engines what kind of content an image contains. If you take the time to write a proper description for each photograph you post of the products you sell, then those who use Google’s image search feature can find your site.
Your competitors are more than likely making good use of social media integration as well. Leveraging the power of your pre-existing social accounts is paramount to increasing your online presence. Make sure to include widgets promoting all of them on your own site.
While it might seem like a great deal of work to fix an unoptimised website, it can help you to gain an edge in an increasingly competitive online marketplace.