A website is arguably your most important asset when it comes to launching your brand and your business online. Your website is where you share critical information about your products and services, where you communicate with your potential customers, and where you often make your first impression. Before a phone call or a visit to your store, it all starts with a website.
When it comes to designing and developing a website for your business, you have a few options. You can do it yourself using a website builder like WordPress, Weebly or Squarespace, you can contract a designer and developer to do the job, or you can work with a digital marketing agency to handle everything from development and design to SEO considerations. Of course, if you have the capabilities in-house, you can also do this all professionally yourself.
Whichever option you choose, it is important to insist on a thorough website development testing and review process. This is about much more than making sure your website technically works. Website development reviews will ensure the functionality, performance, accessibility and security of your website are optimised, which will go a long way to improving your SEO and UX (Search Engine Optimisation and User Experience)
Let’s find out a bit more about the importance of web development reviews and testing.
Web Development Reviews: Vital for Developers, Marketers, and Users
When it comes to website development reviews, everyone is impacted, and that’s why it’s essential to test everything and get it right. For example, a slow loading website is a design/development issue, but it’s also bad for SEO from a marketer’s perspective, and it makes users frustrated and more likely to abandon their experience.
When you check for the points below, remember to consider them from all three of these perspectives to ensure your website is running at its best.
Minor Errors to Check for in Website Testing
While the following errors are minor, they can make a major difference to the quality of your website and the experience you provide. Developers, designers, end-users, and other professionals (e.g. copywriters) should be utilised to identify these errors.
Some minor errors to look for include:
- Spelling and grammar mistakes in the copy
- Images and videos not loading
- Broken links
- Errors with form submission
- Errors with search functionality
Improving Website Performance (Speed)
As mentioned above, website speed is one of the factors that effects everyone who uses a website. Page speed is one of Google’s SEO ranking factors, so it’s important to optimise your website for speed if you want to rank in search results. As well as this, research suggests that 40% of people will only wait three seconds for your page to load before clicking away.
To improve website performance, you can optimise your images and multimedia for the web, review your code, and reconsider your hosting, among other things.
Functionality in the Real World
Just because something works in theory, it doesn’t mean it’s going to work optimally in real-world environments. That’s why it’s important to get end-users to test all the different functions on your website before a wide release.
While a form, an app, or even the website navigation might make sense to someone who has spent months working on the website, it might not seem so intuitive in the hands of an everyday user accessing your site for the first time.
Your Website on Other Browsers and Mobile Devices
Cross-browser and mobile compatibility is another important thing to look at when it comes to website development reviews. Just because you aren’t using Internet Explorer anymore, it doesn’t mean your customers aren’t.
It’s also essential to have a responsive, mobile-friendly website. This is not only because mobile traffic accounts for half of all global website traffic, but because Google uses mobile-first indexing, meaning it considers the mobile version of your website before the desktop version.
Website accessibility refers to the process of making your website easily accessible for anyone, including those who are operating with a screen reader or without a mouse.
Here are some important considerations when reviewing and testing your website for accessibility purposes:
- Include appropriate alt text for all images
- Ensure linking text is descriptive and accurate
- Evaluate colour contrast in your web design
- Ensure your website is 100% functional with only the use of a keyboard
- Place labels for forms beside the text box, not within it
Consider On-Page SEO
To ensure your website is an excellent resource that can be easily found by users, include on-page SEO in your web development review. With the top Google search result getting about a third of all clicks and page two search results barely being clicked at all (0.78% according to Backlinko), SEO is a powerful tool for your website that you want on your side.
Some aspects of on-page SEO to consider in your review include:
- URLs that are short and optimised with a target keyword
- Each page has a unique page title and meta description
- Your target keyword for a page is used in the first 150 words of the content
- You are linking to other useful resources, both on your website and externally
- H1, H2, and H3 tags have been used and optimised with keywords
- Positive customer reviews are used on the website (to generate more reviews from your customers, consider the Supple Reviews Tool)
- Your website has been secured with HTTPS
Get Started with Web Development Reviews and Testing Today
As you can see, website development testing is about more than ticking a few technical boxes. Rather, it can affect the whole outlook of your business online, from branding and reputation to SEO and revenue.
When running tests and reviews on your website, keep the points above in mind and remember to complete a comprehensive range of website reviews. To summarise, this includes testing for functionality, usability, interface, compatibility, performance, and security.
By taking the steps to review your website early in the process, you can avoid expensive redesigns and embarrassing errors, and ensure a smooth launch for your business’s online presence.
A Digital Marketer and marketing strategist who works with Supple, a top Digital marking and website designing agency in Australia. Apart from this, he loves to write blogs on web design, SEO & internet marketing.