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Ryan Bonnici, APAC marketing director of Ogilvy Sydney client Hubspot (a global inbound marketing company), tackles on behalf of M+AD readers one of our great everyday problems – crappy website design and management. “Is your site reaching its full potential?” he asks … 

Great content and design alone were once enough to determine a website’s success and ensure a steady stream of traffic to the site.

In today’s environment, higher ranking websites embody these classic qualities, but are also outfitted with an arsenal of tools to ensure a positive digital experience for the site’s audience, which in turn can lead to increased sales and ROI.

Many websites are impacted by factors that ultimately slow them down. These can include an absence of render blocking, compression or browser caching tools.

If a website is unable to meet the demands of its visitors, they’ll quickly lose interest and go somewhere else – resulting in a loss of leads and more importantly, sales.

Regardless of how faultless a site’s editorial content may be, or the quality of its customer-engagement, obstacles continue to disrupt the digital experiences of users across the world.

  • 15% of websites are not equipped with render blocking resources: third-party scripts, plug-ins and add-ons have to wait their turn before disrupting a website’s primary script which means customers can view your website quicker. At HubSpot, we recommend deferring any non-critical party scripts to load after your core website content to boost rendering experiences.
  • 35% of websites have no compression tools to boost performance: by rolling out compression resources, the size of images (typically the #1 source of slow-loading pages) is cut down to a manageable size. When an image is compressed, 4MB could become 2MB – saving your browser from loading unnecessary data and helping to eliminate the painfully slow loading of webpages!
  • 55% of websites aren’t boosting their site’s performance with browser caching: websites that experience a lot of return visitors should put browser caching measures in place to store commonly used files locally. Important or frequently used files can easily be cached, thus saving the browser from unnecessary downloads.

Can’t SEO the wood for the trees?
While regarded as a mature internet practice, search engine optimisation (SEO) is surprisingly often overlooked. As website content explodes, Meta descriptions or heading tags may be easily missed and pages that are added may not be optimised like their predecessors.

A regular audit of a site’s pages should be scheduled to ensure SEO optimisation doesn’t fall through the cracks.

  • 23% of websites don’t have page titles: This number should be 100%. No ifs, not buts – page titles are a vital element to establishing your message and impact your click through rates (CTRs)
  • 39% of websites don’t have heading tags: Heading tags reinforce the keywords of the page title and provide your visitors with the key themes relating to their search.
  • 43% do not have site maps: According to Google, “…your site will benefit for having a site map, and you’ll never be penalised for having one”. Including a site map is best practice for providing site transparency.
  • Fewer than half of websites have properly configured Meta descriptions: Meta descriptions are the few lines of text that appear beneath a page title in a search result – it effectively describes your website to a visitor, so make an impact. It’s time to write less and say more!

Better cyber-safe than sorry
As data continues to evolve and transforms the way we interact, we must ensure that businesses continue to support their customers when it comes to security.

Remarkably, just 20% of sites analysed by HubSpot are protected by SSL (Secure Sockets Layer): SSL creates a safe access point between a visitor’s browser and a website’s web server – protecting the exchange of data between the two endpoints.

To fix your security score it’s vital to ensure that your content management system has SSL capabilities enabled. Make sure your host’s customer support team and development teams appreciate the importance of SSL and press them for a timeline of its roll-out.

As websites adapt to changing trends to ensure greater digital experiences for their audience or consumers, leaner, smarter and more effective business solutions will develop.

HubSpot recognises the impact of boosting a website’s grade to deliver positive marketing tactics and has launched its own online website grader to highlight the strengths and weaknesses of sites across the world. Find your website’s unique grade and discover a bespoke solution to your issues here:

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