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Your Beginner's Guide to a Healthier Website

We’ve all seen them.

Those poorly designed, difficult-to-navigate websites—literal and metaphorical relics of the prior millennium that have slow page loading speeds, no mobile responsiveness, and broken links just about every place you click.

Healthy websites are very much the opposite.

With dynamic, visually appealing interfaces, intuitive pathways to (thoroughly vetted) in-demand content, and fast loading speeds—as well as clear calls to action that encourage users to accomplish certain tasks—these sites are the gold standard for 21st-century web experiences.

Retooling your web presence? Below, you’ll find a list of site elements that we think every web team should prioritize.

Make it Responsive

Since the mid 2010s, mobile users far outrank desktop users with respect to website visits. But what does that mean for you?

It means that your site needs a responsive design. For your site to be successful, it must adapt seamlessly to screen sizes and devices of different shapes and sizes. Remember, users could be viewing your site on smartphones, laptops, tablets, or even good old-fashioned desktop computers.

If your web interface is a smooth, ruffle-free experience on desktop, but a clunky nightmare on your run-of-the-mill iPhone, your engagement metrics will suffer, as will—in all likelihood—your visibility on search engine rankings.

Don’t Miss Out on User Analytics

What search terms bring users to your site? What pages do they linger on the longest? What part of the country do they live in?

With anonymous tracking code embedded into your site that stores user data, you’ll be able to gather crucial information to inform future site enhancements—all without compromising the privacy of your users.

Remember, though—analytics can be deceiving. Sometimes it pays to have analytics experts like those at Cyberwoven looking over your shoulder.

Here’s a quick example. Often, we think of engagement metrics—like the average time a user spends on a given page—in one-dimensional terms. More time-on-page is good, less time-on-page is bad, right?

Not necessarily.

If the page is well designed—with an easily navigable interface, clear calls to action, and useful, high-quality content—a lower than average time-on-page rate, paired with a high conversion rate, is a good thing.

A Few More Pointers

To ensure the long-term viability of your website, you’ve got to worry about more than mobile responsiveness and capturing user analytics.

Here are a few other things we encourage you to keep in mind—all of which, we hasten to add, stand to impact your visibility on search engines:

  1. Fast Page Loading Speed – Keep page load times low by compressing image sizes and employing caching (a process whereby site elements are automatically downloaded and stored on the user’s device)

  2. Prioritize Security – Search engines like Google prioritize secure, trustworthy sites that have SSL encryption in place to protect user data (this is what the S in https refers to)

  3. Keep Content Fresh – Another priority for search engines? Quality content that’s regularly updated with the latest information that’s of interest to users 

There are so many more pointers we could share, but for now, we’ll have to call it quits. We know that enhancing an existing web property—or building one from scratch—can seem daunting. But remember, we’re here to help.

When you're ready for a brand-new site—one that reflects the real you, and that helps achieve your business goals—let's talk.