A good business website must be fast, visually-appealing, helpful, professional, and visible in the search engines. It must also comply with various legal regulations. However, with shifting consumer behaviors and new requirements introduced by the likes of Google and governments, it can often feel hard to keep up.
To ensure your website ranks highly in the search engine results pages and continues to make a profit, here are seven essential tweaks to make to your website in 2018.
1. Make Your Site Mobile Responsive
As 60% of web searches are made on a mobile device, you must create a responsive site if you have yet to do so. This is a big Google ranking factor, and your site is more than likely being penalized in the search engines if you have yet to comply with their requirement.
A responsive site simply adapts the content and page layout to the device it is being viewed on. As a result, your website will appear differently on a desktop in comparison to a smartphone or tablet. It doesn’t mean you have to create a separate mobile site. It simply means introducing an intelligent template that can detect screen size.
2. Add an SSL Certificate to Increase Security
While an SSL (Secure Socket Layers) certificate is not a legal requirement, it is believed to now be a Google ranking factor. The certificate simply encrypts information delivered between a site visitor and the secure website so that it can provide a more secure connection between a browser and web server.
It is commonly used on business sites that handle credit card and personal information, which is the reason why it is now a positive search signal for Google. Adding one to your website can ultimately increase your trust in Google, which can help you to shoot up the search engines.
3. Comply to GDPR
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into effect on May 25th, 2018 and was designed to protect the personal data for all EU residents. Even if you are outside of the EU, you must comply to the new regulations if you collect, process, or store personal information from anyone within the EU. If you fail to comply with GDPR, it could be a costly mistake for your business.
While most large organizations that regularly collect data from the EU will have responded to the new regulations, many smaller businesses might not be aware of their legal requirements. It is critical to understand your responsibilities to protect your business and your EU visitors’ data. That’s why you need to do your research on GDPR compliance.
4. Find Out What Doesn’t Work with A/B Testing
If your website is failing to convert visitors into customers, you might want need to tweak your web pages to increase your sales. A/B testing is an effective way to find out what is or isn’t working on your site. It will simply show some users a different image, color, text, or minor layout change, which might make a big difference to the user experience. As a result, you will be able to identify what is or isn’t working on your site to make the permanent changes.
5. Improve Your Website Accessibility
Did you know there are more than 57 million Americans living with a disability, who have a combined disposable income of $544 billion? If your site doesn’t offer the accessibility stated in the WCAG 2.0 guidelines, you will more than likely be unable to secure their custom. This will not just lead to a considerable loss of revenue, but it may also leave your business vulnerable to a potential lawsuit.
6. Prevent a Hacking with a Web Application Firewall
A web application firewall (WAF) will increase your site’s protections against a hacking or brute force attack. As a result, it can stop unauthorized access to your website, which can keep your site safe while protecting your customer data.
You might not think your website will be hacked, but 37,000 websites are hacked every single day, so it is a very real threat to your business. Install a web application firewall to ensure your business doesn’t become the next victim.
7. Introduce a Helpful Click-to-Call Format
As stated, more people are visiting websites on their smartphones, which is why you should consider introducing a click-to-call format onto your website. If you want to encourage visitors to become customers, a one-touch solution could make it easier for people to get in touch with your business on their smartphone. Work with a talented web developer today to increase your sales and the user experience.