Small issues can create large problems. For instance, something as simple as a broken link breaks the flow of your website and may prevent leads from contacting your firm. It’s important to be aware of seemingly innocuous errors that can sabotage your site.
Here are four common, easy-to-miss web errors that lower your website value…
1. Pages Take Too Long to Load
If you’re going to sell someone on a concept, you need to do it as quickly as possible. The longer you take, the lower your chances of holding their interest. The same applies to websites. However, the amount of time you have is much shorter.
According to Jim Elliot, a former IBM employee, when a computer completes an action under 400 milliseconds, the user is more likely to stay connected and engaged. Any longer than that and the user’s mind is given time to become disinterested. When it comes to websites, if your site is slow to load or has a loading screen, you’re going to lose the interest of your visitors.
Even without factoring in user attention span, long loading times are detrimental for SEO purposes. Search engines give a lower ranking to sites that take too long to load. Delays are often caused by images which are larger than necessary, flashy scripted effects, and preloaded video or sound. A good site design should not have to rely on the end user downloading large files.
2. Users Have Trouble Navigating Your Site
Websites must be designed for the end user, and they must be easy to navigate. Site owners are often so familiar with their own site, that they don’t see potential issues with navigation. Get some fresh eyes to take a look at your website and get their feedback. Additionally, look for customer comments that indicate browsing experience.
Given the importance of navigation, you can also find tools online which aid in understanding the average user’s interaction with your site. Services such as Heatmap allow website owners to track user interaction in real time. Site owners can directly see where their user’s focus attention.
3. Your Website is Not Responsive
60% of digital media is now accessed through a mobile phone. If your website is unfriendly to mobile browsers, then you’re ignoring a huge portion of your audience which could be exposed to your message. Updating to a responsive design fixes this issue as it adjusts for phones, tablets, and all smart devices. This allows your website to double or even triple the audience it’s reaching and thus perform at greater efficiency.
Even outside of mobile devices, responsive design also accounts for differences in screen sizes. Whether it’s a widescreen monitor, high pixel density display, or an LCD terminal, websites must display on screens of all sizes. Your site must be able to adapt.
4. The Codebase Doesn’t Play Well with Search Engines
Your site may look fine on the outside, but what does the codebase look like? Has the structure of the site been designed so that automated search engine crawlers can navigate and index it? These questions may not affect the functionality of your site, but they affect the overall ability of your site to rank higher in a user’s search process.
When it comes to search engine optimization (SEO), there is no end-all, be-all solution. General web development industry standards are more of a collection of recommended best practices than they are actual requirements. It’s important to have some understanding of the concepts behind search engine ranking in order to ask prospective web development firms about them. When selecting a website company, be sure to ask about their experience with coding for SEO.
Increase your website value by understanding the issues and potential blind spots. Proactively working with your development firm ensures that your website will serve its purpose consistently and effectively.