Developing a quality website is a major task in and of itself. The right website should not only look appealing, it must function appropriately while also consistently producing quality content that your target audience will enjoy and find relevant. Most would assume that after adding all of these factors to their website that launching their site for the world to see would be an automatic next step.
However, just as you would taste a new recipe before you serve it to your family, you should take the proper precautions to thoroughly test your website.
Two Major Reasons Testing is a Must
You’re likely very eager to launch your site and start bringing in the customers. However, it is important not to “jump the gun” or you could end up regretting it later on. When it comes to developing your business online, everything must be looked over with a fine tooth comb. Here’s why:
1. Brand Reputation
Your reputation is all you have when it comes to being a successful business. Your company’s website goes a long way in helping to further develop your brand. According to Entrepreneur, whether you’ve been in business for years or you’re new to the market, your company’s website often acts as the first impression to potential customers. What they see and experience will ultimately determine how they feel about your organization as a whole. Good experiences obviously lead to positive outcomes and the potential for new customers while negative experiences or poorly constructed websites will result in negative feedback and a ruined reputation.
2. Customer Experience
Your customers are obviously the key to a profitable business, hence the phrase “the customer is always right.” If your customers visit your company website and have a horrible experience, why would they do business with you? Imagine visiting a website that takes forever to load, has links that don’t work, has customer forms that send error messages–would you stay on the site and try to work through the kinks, or would you back out of the site and look for another company to do business with? Chances are, you’d look for a company with a functional website.
Testing your company’s website helps to ensure that you’ve paid attention to all the details. It allows businesses to ensure that they’re providing the best customer experience they can.
Common Areas to Test
Now that you understand the importance of testing your company website before launching, it’s important to know which areas should be tested. Below is a list of the areas of your website that should be tested entirely before going live:
• Content – Ensure that the content you’ve uploaded is relevant to your niche and valuable to your consumers. Check that you’ve complied with all SEO trends for improved visibility. Check for errors including grammar and spelling. Also, ensure that any videos, graphics, and/or pictures are displayed clearly.
• Links – any links you have within your website should be tested to ensure that they work effectively.
• Function – Functional testing is extremely important when developing your website because it ensures that it will work on all browsers. Additionally, functional testing will test each web page to ensure the content is formatted correctly and will make sure that forms are functional and site maps are accurate.
• Performance – Check each page to ensure that it loads in a decent manner. Also ensure that navigation from one page to the next and various links found on your page are simplistic to follow and active.
Testing your newly developed website is of the utmost importance. It is by far the best method for being proactive. It gives off the impression that you care about every detail of your business. Without taking the necessary steps to ensure your website looks good and works effectively, businesses run the risk of a ruined reputation and dissatisfied customers. Thorough testing allows business owners to rectify any errors or mistakes prior to going live. This ensures that your customers get the best experience possible as your brand continues to grow.