Launching a new website can be an equally exciting and stressful experience, especially if you rely heavily on your website for lead generation. Your new website should perform better than your old one – in the ways that matter most to you. The big question is how can you ensure your website performance will improve with a new design, layout, and coding?
Defining & Tracking Website Performance
Before even thinking about how to help your website’s performance, you need to think about what performance means and which metrics you use to track it. Some of the most common ways in which performance is measured are based on how many visitors it attracts, how long visitors stay on the website, how many website visitors convert to leads, and so on. These metrics are easy to track when Google Analytics is set up and connected to your website properly.
However, websites don’t fill the same purpose for every business and brand. For instance, some websites are informational resources. The primary goal for these websites is to help visitors get the information they need as quickly as possible. In this case, a short user session is not necessarily bad. On the contrary, a short user session could indicate that the user was able to quickly search, locate the information they needed, and move on. In this case, positive website performance may be better evaluated with a quick exit pop-up poll asking users to rate their experience.
Basics for Improving Website Performance
For most websites, the following are some basic factors to consider during development to ensure your website performs well after launch.
Design for User Experience
The content of a website and the way it is displayed are just as critical to a website’s performance as the technical factors. How relevant is the content to the page title and the business or brand as a whole? Is it easy to read and digest the content? Are there enhancing graphics and headings that guide the user along the length of the page? A website that uses long blocks of text and irrelevant images is much more likely to lose a visitor’s attention rapidly.
Optimize Site Speed
There is a delicate balance between site speed and design. While animations and high-resolution graphics can add fantastic visual appeal, they can bloat a website causing slow load speeds. This doesn’t mean you should avoid using anything fun or engaging on your website, it means you need to ensure these elements are coded properly, optimized, and used with great intention.
For example, a high-resolution image from a professional camera might be 3000 or 6000 pixels wide, when most computer screens are between 1200 and 2000 pixels wide. If uploaded to the website as is, this image may take 10 seconds or more to load. However, reducing the resolution for web use can ensure the user still gets to appreciate the beauty of the photo, without having to wonder if it’s worth the wait.
Implement SEO Best Practices
When SEO is implemented properly, it helps Google better understand what your website is all about and when it should show your website to Google users. Meta title and descriptions not only provide information to Google, but they are also what users get to see when making a decision on which website to click on. Meta data can be created and added prior to launch for best results.
Don’t you dare forget about 301 redirects. If you have an existing website and any URL structure changes are implemented, failure to implement 301 redirects could cause a huge drop in backlinks, impressions, and traffic to your website.
Conduct a Detailed QA Evaluation
Errors such as broken images, 404 errors, spelling, and grammar issues are some of the quickest ways to make or break a website’s performance. While conducting a QA before launch is probably obvious, make sure to do another one after launch as well. It is completely possible for images, links, and various features to break when launching a website. However, these are easy to fix when caught early on.
How does a top web design company help my website perform after launch?
At a top web design company such as Buzzbait Consulting, we take website performance seriously. From creating a mobile-friendly, fast, and beautifully designed website to implementing SEO best practices, performance is at the forefront of our minds throughout any website project. Additionally, we provide ongoing services such as monthly SEO to keep your website up to date within the ever-changing online world. Contact us today for a quote on a glowing new website that will outperform your current one immediately after launch and for years to come.