If you’re planning a website in 2021 here are my top seven tips to build into your research, copywriting and planning.

It’s exactly one year since I launched the new SPELD NSW website in partnership with Webstudio. Google Analytics tells us we’ve increased our website users by 60 percent compared to the previous year. We followed all the steps in this blog to create a successful website and support children with learning difficulties in New South Wales.

All these tips focus on data because data drives results and is essential when planning your website to meet your marketing, social and digital goals. 

1. Google Analytics Data

GOOGLE ANALYTICS is an important marketing tool and should be installed as soon as you launch. The data provided is the best way to test what’s driving traffic to your website pages and determine which pages could be improved in terms of user experience and content.

Check your analytics regularly and make sure your most visited pages have your most important content visible for readers.  If you already have a website check your Google Analytics before you start planning your new website build to see which pages drive the most engagement, traffic, referrals and bounces. This will help guide the development of your new website.

2. Speed Data Insights

SPEED – if your website isn’t loading in 3 seconds according to the experts you have a problem. I’d say 5 – 10 seconds is fine but if you are paying decent money for a website build this should be a number one priority. Page speed is a ranking factor in Google searches.

You can quickly test your speed online with these quick resources:

If you are a small business you can use these site checkers as a general guide to assist you to tweak your website and make improvements to speed.  

3. Meta Data

SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMISATION is the process of increasing the visibility of your website and the traffic to your site through search engines. If you’re using WordPress you can install the Yoast Plugin that enables you to add data including page title, meta description and keywords.

The meta description should be the strongest call to action for your page as this will also appear on your google search results and boost your SEO. You would be amazed how many websites launch without considering the meta data and how it can assist in driving traffic to your website. I usually plan the meta data at the same time as writing the copy and content for each page. 

Google gives you 60 characters for your title and about 105 -160 characters for your description so be sure to refine a compelling call to action based on the keywords specific to your industry. Each page should have a different meta description where you front load the keywords based on your research.

Great SEO Tools include:

4. Open Graph Data

SOCIAL MEDIA is an important part of your marketing eco system. Your website pages need to be easily shareable. The OG Data should not be overlooked when planning your website. I always include it as part of my planning process.

Do you want the description shared on social to be the same as your meta description or a different call to action entirely? You definitely want control over it and don’t want it left to Google to pull a random, irrelevant image or call to action that doesn’t speak to your followers.

You can also specify your OG image so the best representation of your brand is always shared when someone shares a link to your website pages. Use images that are at least 1080 pixels in width for best display on high resolution devices.

Use these Great Open Graph Tools to test your OG data prior to launch:

5. UX Data

UX DATA is information which helps deliver insights on the user experience of a website or inform design direction to maximise conversions.

Website users are accustomed to top level navigation menus which include your main services or products in a clear and consistent order.

Whilst vertical navigation has become more popular in recent years it’s still not best practice for UX experience. Top navigation generally performs better in all studies on web design. So if you’re a service based business keep your navigation logical and your main services or products listed in order of importance.

A clearly visible and compelling top navigation tells your clients or customers exactly what they want to know without a wild goose chase.  

6. Image Data

Clients can spend many hours happily searching for the best images to make a website look and feel appealing to their target market. I always recommend clients use professional photography or where this isn’t an option I choose unique stock companies such as Austock Photo Australia.

What is often overlooked in website builds is the data attached to the image. Image data is important for your marketing return. Making sure your image data is accurate may take a little longer but it’s well worth the investment to drive traffic and leads. 

  • Naming Images – before you upload images to your website make sure you name your image data to support your search engine optimisation. Images with IMG.111000 do nothing for google search. Images with a clear description to support your product or service will boost your SEO.
  • Compressing images – smaller image will improve site speed and user experience. Aim for less than 100kb.
  • Image SEO – when uploading into WordPress or your CMS always add the Alt tag to improve SEO and Accessibility. The alt attribute provides alternative information for an image if a user for some reason cannot view it and assists search engines to understand your page. Your keyword phrase should generally go in the Alt text.

7. Data Capture

If you’re collecting online sign ups, ecommerce information or other personal data make sure you have a privacy policy and terms and conditions.

These can be tucked away in your footer navigation but it’s important to cover your legal responsibilities in terms of data collection and privacy. Your site’s privacy policy should be easy to find and include information about the type of information you collect and how personal data is used.

All these tips follow website design best practice and will help you reach your marketing goals.