This is the second part of a three part series on quick B2B website audits. Here is Part I: Messaging & Layout, in case you missed it. The next step in your B2B website audit journey is to look at the technical aspects of your site. In the last segment we said that messaging and layout is arguably the most important aspect of your website for human visitors. There is also a case to be made for the raw functionality of your website and its overall design. Below are the technical points you should review on your B2B website to make sure it is performing as necessary.
Website Audit: Loading
Website loading is important to every website. The slower your website loads the rate at which visitors bounce off your website increases exponentially. Today’s internet users expect lightning fast loading times and it is a major website ranking criterion for Google Search. Your website also needs to be secure, make sure it’s encrypted with SSL protection. That’s what makes a website HTTPS instead of HTTP. It shows prospects you are a legitimate company and take their private information and security seriously.
You also want to make sure your website is using responsive design that follows with the latest display area information. You can easily test this by visiting your website on multiple devices including newer computers, tablets, and phones. Go through the pages and make sure your content is resizing, reordering, and displaying properly. If your website is not displaying properly it’s time for a new website design. Contact Bold Entity and we can discuss a new website design that will look great on all device types.
One of the best ways for your website to stand out is with great visuals. High quality images look great, but have large file sizes that can slow down your website’s load time and frustrate prospects causing them to abandon your site before it finishes loading. Luckily, there are ways to optimize your images for faster loading. The first stop for your website audit is checking the display size of your images. If you are displaying a 300×300 pixel image on your site, you don’t want to use the 1800×1800 version of the image. Take a look through the images on your website and make sure you aren’t using any oversized images. If your website needs updated visuals, Bold Entity can help with a custom photography session. Stock photography feels impersonal and can even come off as fake, which is not the impression you want to leave with prospects.
Also, check the file type. The most common and economical file type for images is JPEG. So look for any images on your website that are in the PNG format that can be converted to improve load speed. The one reason to keep a PNG would be because the image features a transparent background, something you cannot do with JPEGs.
You can also use an image compressor to reduce the file size of images. Image files contain a lot of information including color information and technical information that is not relevant to actual display of the image. Stripping out that unnecessary information from all your website’s images can give your website a speed boost.
The last point of image optimization for your website audit is to make sure your website is “lazy loading” images. This means the website only renders images as they are displayed on the web page. So if you load a web page with a lot of images on the bottom of the page, you don’t have to wait on those images to load before you can start seeing and reading the top of the web page. This can really improve the user experience of your website. You can check for lazy loading by scrolling down a web page and seeing if images pop in as you scroll. You can also check using F12 and opening the Network tab of your browser tools. As you scroll on the site if you see new files loading then lazy loading is working.
Legacy Code and Third Party Scripts
Your website audit’s efficacy here will depend on how much you know about coding. If that’s very little or none at all, it’s not a problem. Like with image optimization we want to ensure the only information we’re loading is the information that’s critical to your website displaying and functioning properly. If you haven’t made any major or constant changes to your website over the past few years, this isn’t likely to be an issue. However, code is always updating with new best practices and doing more with less. A fresh rebuild of your website following the latest standards of code never hurts.For those of you familiar with coding, you know how to scroll through your website code and do some tidying up!
Website Audit: Hosting Service Quality
We’ve seen both ends of the spectrum: companies that spend top dollar for great hosting speeds, but still have a slow site because it’s nowhere close to being optimized. And, companies with elegant, highly-tuned websites that load like molasses because of a low-end hosting solution. Make sure these variables aren’t canceling each other out.
Research your hosting service, check the reviews and the latest news. Also, take a look at your current commitment to see if it’s worth breaking your hosting agreement to get your website in better shape. Bold Entity provides website hosting solutions to many of our clients and we can help find you a hosting solution that gets you the right mixture of price and performance for your B2B website’s needs.
Importance of Technicals in Your B2B Website Audit
You may have gathered that your B2B website can live or die by the technical information that’s behind the scenes. The technicals of your website are not as accessible to your website visitors as the messaging and layout or as impactful to your senses as following the latest design trends, yet they are the framework both hang upon. Next up in the part three finale of the Quick B2B Website Audit series is Design Trends.