How To Grade Your Website – Online Grading vs Company Needs15 min read
Your website is an extension of your brand. In fact, it’s often the very first impression people receive when they first interact with your company. Whether you’re researching to increase your company’s brand awareness, web traffic, sales, or provide better information—optimizing your website is a vital step towards future success.
The Importance of Having a Highly Functional and Well-Optimized Website
Having a well-optimized website can generate more inbound users and potential customers. 93% of online interactions start with a search engine. You want your website to rank, because the information on your page is valuable to the search query. The objective is to reach and capture leads who are already searching for your information, products, services, etc.
Here are a few examples of some changes companies made to increase conversions:
- After simplifying their homepage, The Weather Channel increased conversions by 225%.
- Intuit.com increased conversions by 20% and sales by over 200% after adding live chat to their website.
- Walmart increased conversions by 20% after designing a mobile-friendly version of their site.
Two Factors for Grading Your Website
1. Company Needs
The first question you should be asking about your website is, “What is it doing for the company?”. This is imperative to determine strategies and objectives.
There are many different ways to use a website, and depending on its purpose for your company, they can be very crucial for business. For example, brochure websites act as an online business card for your company, conveying a sense of credibility. They supply information like contacts, business hours, location, etc. Other websites include tools like price quotes, online purchasing, and more. It all depends on the purpose of the website. For instance, a shoe company might have a customization tool on their website that allows the customer to preview their final product before purchasing.
Next, websites can also be a terrific tool for inbound marketing. Inbound marketing is crucial in today’s business world, because people are actively searching for the content they consume, which means more opportunity for exposure. You want to draw people to your brand, and let them easily find the information they are searching for through the content you provide.
Lastly, Marketing Automation is another way to generate leads. Marketing automation refers to the software that has a goal of automating marketing tasks. Some of these tasks include email, social media, and other website actions.
Around 70% of marketers reported that marketing automation has helped them improve the targeting of their messages. Another 45.9% said that it has assisted in improving customer experience, while 37.7% of marketers have reported that automation has helped them get better quality leads.
2. Online Grading
Google’s (and other search engines) mission is to provide users with the best results for their search, and it is important to keep that in mind when optimizing your site, especially if you’re running any type of business. Those website visitors are potential customers. Some SEO questions worth asking include:
- Where are you ranking vs competitors?
- Does your website contain compelling content?
- Is your site keyword optimized?
- How is the user experience (load speed, ease of use)?
- How is your Snippet/Schema markup?
By answering these questions, you are able to pinpoint areas in need of improvement. Generally, you start by optimizing your content. This will include your text, images, and videos on your page. Think about certain keywords and key phrases that will be used to find your site, and incorporate those into your content. This will help your page rank in search engine results, increase traffic, and ultimately lead to higher conversions.
Putting the time and effort into SEO strategies like structured data will certainly be effective. It will assist in achieving a higher rank in search engine results while giving users the information they need regarding their search. Google reads structured data to display rich results (previously known as rich snippets) in the search engine results page (SERP). These rich results can provide recipes, reviews, a company description, contact information, and more. More importantly, these rich results make the links to your site more noticeable and enticing to the user, bringing you more web traffic, leads, and conversions.
Optimization and Functionality Factors
Your website should be easy to navigate. If you want the user experience to end in a purchase, you should be providing information about your product or service on the first page. Think about the user on the website. From their search, they will choose your website based on how well your snippet matches what they’re looking for. From there, they will arrive at your website, and search for an answer to their query. For example, if someone searches, “Hours for DVS”, and it doesn’t already appear in a rich snippet, they will continue to your site and look for the hours of the business there. Menu tabs are often the best way to help a user navigate your site.
A Call to Action (CTA) is important to include on your site as well. Often, people look for a CTA once they’ve finished reading your copy, as it encourages them to take action immediately. The easier you make it for them to take action, the more people will engage in those steps. Wording for a CTA can make a huge difference. In fact, Veeam Software increased their CTR by 166% by changing “Request a Quote” to “Request Pricing.”
A 1-second delay in site speed can result in a 7% decrease in conversions. This may not seem like a lot, but time is, in fact, money. If your site takes forever to load, people will immediately leave and go to the next best site on the SERP. Every visitor is a potential customer, and when you lose them from your site, you lose them as a customer. Your site should be regularly maintained to keep it up to speed, without glitches or delays in navigating the site.
Your website should accurately represent your brand and company as a whole. Your style and voice are especially important here. Brand awareness is all about feeling, and creating a connection with the brand. You want to design your website based on its purpose, and in a way that is appealing to the user, but not too overwhelming.
Tools to Grade Your Website
Below are some online tools to grade your website. Using these can be beneficial to the performance of your website, and your company as a whole. It is the fastest way to determine why your website isn’t ranking as it should be. They can provide you with information on accessibility, SEO, title tag and meta tag usage, and more.
Tools for Online Grading
- Offers recommendations to improve duplicate content, broken links, dangling links, similar title tags, duplicate meta descriptions, web copy editing, HTML validation, browser and resolution compatibility, page loading times, search engine rankings, site statistics, error pages, and more.
- GTMetrix analyzes your site’s speed and makes it faster. Key features include page speed, page load details, different analysis options, and a report history. You can also set up monitored alerts and analyze through a mobile device.
- Companies that use GTMetrix:
- The New York Times
- SEO Site Checkup
- Analyzes SEO issues, monitors SEO, side-by-side SEO comparisons of your competitors, and valuable reports with actionable results.
- SEO Minion
- SEO minion assists in daily tasks like on-page SEO analysis, broken link checking, SERP preview, and more.
Does Your Website Align With Your Company Needs?
The two factors for grading your website include your company needs and online grading. These are equally important in the branding of your company. Your website directly represents your company, so you want it to be top notch.
Now that you know the two primary factors for grading your website, does your website work to achieve the goals of your company? If not, you more than likely need to make some adjustments. If you’re having trouble identifying what those adjustments should be, we’re happy to help! Reach out to us today for all of your web design concerns.