It’s obvious that we all live in a very digital era. Almost every business in every industry has some form of digital presence, the most common form being a website. There are thousands of tools, companies, and applications that can help build your website. However, they all become moot if you commit one of these 7 deadly sins of website development.
7 Website Development Don’ts
1. All Design, No Function
We get it, one of the most important parts of building a website is how the website looks. And that makes perfect sense. Your website is an important piece of your overall brand image and builds credibility with potential leads. However, just like looking for the perfect mate, looks aren’t the only thing you care about (hopefully). Your site needs to function and be user friendly. The cool graphics, background videos, and fancy navigation bars are all awesome, but utterly useless if potential customers can’t find the information that they’re looking for. For example, sometimes web developers make contact information way too hard to find. If a contact page is too hard to find, you will miss out on a potential lead.
2. Bad Content
Once you have your website looking the way you like it, it’s time to make sure you have great content. A lot of people take content for granted because there’s so much website content that doesn’t get read by the average visitor. In fact, most website viewers only skim for content that they actually need. This means, you have less than a minute to grab the visitor’s attention and turn them into a lead.
So, who are you really writing for?
You’re writing for the biggest internet visitor of all: Google. Your content is like the neon arrow that points to your business in a Google search. Having content optimized for SEO means Google will rank your site high enough for people to find you. A common mistake people make and don’t realize is the lack of proper H-tags. H-tags play a vital role in Google reading your site because they tell Google what kind of content is on the page.
3. No SEO Plan
Speaking of content for SEO, an overlooked part of website development is backend SEO. Backend SEO is basically all the optimization you can’t see physically on the site. This includes things like alt tags in your photos, highlighting keywords, XML sitemaps, and other nitty-gritty details done on the backend of your site.
Quite often people just publish their content and call it a day. However, no matter how lifechanging your particular blog is, it doesn’t mean anything if Google can’t find it. You want your blog to be on the first page, preferably as a featured snippet, so that customers looking for relevant information will choose you first.
4. Your Website is TOO Slow
The days of dialup are long gone. When it comes to the internet, people want their information ASAP. If the large images, videos, templates, and other pieces of your website are slowing down your loading speed, visitors will get frustrated and leave.
And, again, visitors aren’t the only ones affected by slow loading speeds.
Google doesn’t like to wait either. In fact, slow loading speeds negatively affect your Google ranking. Because Google can’t crawl your website in a timely fashion, your site won’t rank on the first page of searches.
5. No Safety
Just like you avoid unsafe areas, internet users try to avoid unsafe websites (unless you’re one of the 21% of U.S consumers pirating Game of Thrones). One of the most important last steps of website development is to secure your site. Believe it or not, website security affects your Google ranking. A simple SSL certificate tells Google that your site is safe and ready to be crawled.
Say you’re trying to boost your SEO by having internal links. If you’re linking to pages that haven’t been properly secured. Google will flag both your pages and links causing your SEO ranking to go down. It doesn’t matter how pretty your site and content are, if it isn’t safe, Google and potential customers will stay away.
This can mean a variety of different things depending on the purpose of your website. If your website handles any important customer information, you have to make sure you have security features to prevent fraud. You can also see how easy your website is to hack by trying to hack it yourself. Good safety protocols builds customer trust and allows Google to rank you. You can read more website development safety tips here.
6. WCAG Compliance
You’re website is legally obligated to be accessible to users with various physical abilities. This includes everything from having text that can be scalable for vision impaired applications, to using colors make things easier for the color blind. There are so many little things people take for granted if they don’t live with a physical disability.
For more information about WCAG Compliance guidelines, click here.
7. Just Plain Ugly
There are a LOT of ugly and outdated websites out there (did you know the official website for Space Jam is still up and running?). Technology is constantly improving, if your website is looking a little….dated, it may be time to give it a facelift. A clean, beautiful website is not only more attractive, it enhances your brand credibility. People trust beautiful websites because it shows them that a company knows what they’re doing. Google loves beautiful websites because a clean layout is easy to read and crawl.
A Holy Solution to Website Development Sins
Rainman Creative produces high quality websites for any industry. Our website designers work with you to create a beautiful website template that suits your needs. Our content writers make sure you have SEO ranking content and backend optimization. Every site we launch is WCGA compliant, SSL certified, and triple checked for safety.
So, if you’re ready to make your dream website a reality, what are you waiting for? Let’s brainstorm your next first impression.