Last December, I wrote about building trust through your website. At that time, the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) Internet Factbook said: “a sense of trust is required for online shoppers to make the leap to a transaction”. Instilling trust in visitors to your website relies on many things, but Google measures some important technical indicators to drive their ranking on results pages.
Making sure you get found is critical to realizing a return on the investment you made when you built your site. As the cliché says: “the best place to hide a dead body is page 2 of a Google search”.
If your page isn’t placing as high as you’d like in search results, there are ways to measure how well your site is doing relative to Google’s performance ranking criteria. One way is through Directwest’s Website Health Check.
Directwest’s Website Health Check is a simple assessment tool available through Directwest.com that, within a few minutes, will analyze your site and provide you a score based on important Google performance criteria. The Health Check score will give you an overall assessment of your site’s page performance. An important aspect of your site is how efficiently it’s coded and how fast your pages load for visitors.
Text without typos and professional-looking images are easy ways to build trust, but those professional images, if too large in file size, will impact how long it takes your page to load. The faster users can interact with your page and the less page elements move around while loading, the better you will score. We’ve all been on a site where the article we are reading jumps while loading a picture and we lose our place, or we get an X where a picture should be.
Why is all this important? You really don’t want to be on page 2, but online you’re competing with all the other websites from businesses similar to yours; i.e. your competitors. Different web development companies produce higher or lower quality sites. Strong visual design is not the only thing that matters. Coding quality also matters. Strong visual design is important, but for Google, it’s all about the user experience and that means great site performance.
Regardless of what device a visitor uses to access your site, good performance is critical. If you’re a business that relies on strong visuals, like a flower shop, it’s important to understand the tradeoffs you’re making between high resolution images and Google ranking. Their can be a balance, but you need a website developer/designer who understands those tradeoffs. If you offer services like accounting that rely less on strong visuals, you may decide you can get away with lower resolution images that load more quickly. Either way, ensuring you have a speedy website is a good contributor to increasing your ranking on Google search results. Why not run our Website Health Check today to see how you rank?
If you have questions, our Media Advisors are experts and can make recommendations on how to improve your score and make sure your site doesn’t fall next to a “dead body” on the second page of the Google search results.
Andrew Clarke is the Director of the Brand & Digital Platforms Team at Directwest.