Your company's website is one of the most important parts of your online presence. In many cases, it is the first -- and sometimes only -- chance you get at impressing prospective customers. Knowing that, why is that there are so many websites out there that don't load well on mobile devices or fail to follow certain rules when it comes to function and aesthetics?
To avoid falling into the blackhole with the others that have failed to keep up, it is a good idea to acquire the services of an expert web designer. However, if you think that you have what it takes to design your own website, here are a few rules that you will want to keep in mind as you move forward:
1. Make Your Site Fast.
Today's websites need to be able to work on today's browsers. A clean website ensures an enhanced user experience as well as improved functionality. Therefore, you need to be constantly monitoring your website's speed. Statistics show that about 40 percent of web users will leave a website if it takes four or more seconds to load.
If you are using your website to sell money by installing neat software that will display advertisements on your site, it is important to remember that these things will slow your site down. So, your site speed will significantly suffer and, in the process, you will lose some visitors.
2. Make Your Site Responsive.
A large percentage of your web traffic is going to come from cell phones, and you probably realize this. Now, if your site is not responsive, then you need to make sure that it is as soon as possible. When a website takes an excessive amount of time to load, then the text is too small for the user to read, and the user's fingers aren't small enough to click on one button (and they end up clicking on three), the chances are very high that they're going to leave your website.
Plus, Google is on a penalizing streak if a site is not mobile-friendly. Did you know that about 48 percent of consumers will not start their mobile research with Google or another search engine? So, if you're website is not responsive, you are losing out on possible sales in multiple ways.
3. Make Your Site Attractive.
With your website, you need to make sure that the impression and mood that you want to project to your web visitors is clear and the color palette that you choose to use will help in achieving this. So, select a color palette and stick to it. If your pages are inconsistent in colors, then it looks as though you don't know what you're doing. A good rule of thumb is to stick with a neutral color and a vivid color, as these will balance one another and allow you to have the best of both worlds.
4. Make Your Site Easy to Read.
Just like your site needs to be appealing to the eye, it also needs to be easy to read. This means you need to choose a font that complements your imagery but that is legible as well. You ultimately want to avoid Times New Roman and Comic Sans. There really isn't anything wrong with either of these two fonts, but they don't convey a professional, well-defined or polished brand.
5. Make Your Site Clutter-Free.
When designing a website, you have a lot of space on the screen to fill. However, this does not mean that you have to use all of that space up. Instead, space out your images and your text. Use white space to your advantage. White space makes it easier for your users to read your text and see your images, and it makes the overall experience more pleasurable. When the website is extremely crowded, it creates a sense of urgency and clutter that you are trying to cram too much information into a small area and pushing that information onto your visitors, which is not what you want to be doing.
6. Make Your Site Easy to Maneuver Around.
Navigation on your website should be as little as possible. You do not want or need all of your pages to be shown beneath the navigational tree. Instead, you should simply have a basic page beneath each option that will send users in the right direction with various buttons or links. If you're unable to decide between all of your pages, you may want to look at where the majority of your traffic goes when they land on your website. You can do this by using Google Analytics and looking under behavior.
7. Make Your Website Clear.
When web users make it to your website for the first time, you want to ensure that they are able to understand your mission. If you have a slogan, you want them to see it the moment they land on your site. This way, only the individuals who are looking for information from you and your company will stay on your website.
One way that you can determine whether you're doing a good job at luring the right kinds of web users to your site is to have a glance at your entry, exit and bounce rates for individual website pages. If you notice that a page has a large number of entries, yet about 75 percent of that traffic is bouncing, then you can bet you have an issue on that page.
8. Make Your Website Focused.
While there is nothing wrong with being knowledgeable in multiple topics and having varied interests, your website needs to be narrowed in on just a couple of topics or, better yet, a single topic. It is possible to select broader topics, like "digital marketing" rather than "social media marketing," but you need to consider the fact that you're trying to be useful to a specific group of individuals. Prior to taking more topics on, finish one topic.
9. Make Your Website Valuable.
You want to ensure that you are constantly providing value to your web visitors. You can do this with your online sales, your online copy, and your online blog. Make sure you are selling, but you are also educating. You want your web visitors to stay on your site for as long as possible.
Don't forget that your website is a great opportunity to impress web users. With that being said, you want to ensure that it is a pleasurable experience by providing clean and concise copy, a clear objective, and an overall relaxing experience.
For more advice on getting your website ready for web visitors, get in touch with us here at WebDetail.