In a rapidly changing world of technology, it’s easy for your website to be out of date. We constantly need to look into ways to improve it and stay updated. Of course, it helps when your website is built with a strong foundation at the time of its conception. Even so, websites demand constant care and maintenance to thrive online.
We often talk about online presence and what steps to take to improve and maintain our website. And a big portion of it is taking care of your business’ flagship as it runs 24/7, one of your most powerful assets for lead generation. You may be asking yourself, do I need to redesign or re-build it then? The answer is…Not necessarily. Sometimes, small tweaks here and there can make drastic improvements.
At the core of these enhancements is User Experience and it is different for everyone who visits your website. What makes a great user experience then? By now, you have probably identified your audience or your website visitors, and by knowing who they are, what they need, and how you solve that challenge/”problem”. Your website must reflect that.
How exactly do you do that? Here are 10 ways:
Use more white space.
Don’t be afraid of using white space on your website. Sometimes it may feel like its a bare piece of online space that needs to be filled with images or ads. White space makes your website simple and elegant thus allowing users to better focus on the more important elements such as content and images. Simplicity on your website’s background creates a more open, modern and fresh feel.
Make it easy for your website visitors to go through your website. Ensure your navigation bar functions properly so your visitors stay longer on your site. Remember your navigation bar serves as a compass to your visitors so have it visible at all times. Make sure you label the pages on your menu distinctly and use familiar words so users can guess the content before the click. Remember, a poor navigation design can hurt your website’s bounce rate. The moment users can’t find the way around or have difficulty finding what they are looking for, then they will leave, causing your exit rates to increase.
Optimized images (atl images)
Images bring life to your website whether it be via blogs or homepage. To optimize your images, check your competition if they are using the same stock photos, so ensure that your images are unique to your brand. If you are using stock photography, use images that do not use too many filters and use natural lighting. The more realistic it looks, the better. If you prefer to use illustrations, ensure that they are licensed and should follow a specific theme. Bear in mind, optimized images affect your SEO performance.
Nothing is more frustrating than a slow website so make sure site speed is optimized. When you want to read or watch content, you want it right away. And waiting for a website to load is just a deal-breaker. Users leave- at once. There goes your bounce rate. In this day and age where everyone uses all types of devices, mobile phones, smart TVs, you need to make sure your site is optimized across all mediums.
So how do you go about fixing that page speed? Google is the best alternative as it offers information on your page speed, load time all across devices, and provides you with recommendations on how to improve it.
Also, start by evaluating the images that you use, and see if they are compressed before they are loaded into the website. If not, look for websites like compressor.io to help you improve that page speed drastically. This all sound too draining and cumbersome? We can conduct a website analysis to determine the best ways to optimize your site and get it running!
Calls to Action to Website
This nifty feature is a powerful one when used. A call to action is a button/text that prompts the user to act. Common examples are: Learn More, Sign Up, Subscribe, Download Now, etc. One of the biggest considerations is the use of color. The psychology of color is known to be very effective at how website users respond to the call to action. So choose your colors well, taking into consideration, complementing colors, easy on the eyes, and colors that evoke your target behavior.. Also, ensure your action words catch the user’s attention by using value offerings. This means that the actions will benefit the user and prompt them to move forward with the action.
Social Share Buttons
Since social media platforms have taken the world by storm, you would want your website to have a strong online presence on social media. Adding social share buttons on every page of your website are similar to calls to action- as it prompts the user to share your content to the word. Remember part of a solid SEO campaign would be to ensure you rank in social media traffic – otherwise, it will be a little challenging and costly to rank your website without these buttons. Ensure that your social media links are properly configured on your website and your social media accounts are live and maintained.
Pages like testimonials give your website more credibility and allow you to showcase your top clients. If you have clients who have great things to say about you, go ahead and post their testimonials. Most users won’t go directly to a testimonial page so make sure you strategically place them on your homepage, or throughout the pages on your site. This is an extra selling point for your business so make sure you post a couple of testimonials from your top clients. Including their company name and logo can also bring your website some added benefits.
Why do you need to do this? Having a mission or vision statement, allows your users to know your services and products and why you are in business and how users will benefit if they buy or subscribe to your products and services. A value proposition statement should be found on the Home page section, as much as possible in the headline or near the headline.
You can start your statement with title such as Who We Are, What We Do, or come up with a brief statement such as: “ We are an email marketing company from Nashville, with the goal to bring your business to the next level of digital transformation and capture your target audience with dynamic marketing campaigns custom fit to your business size and budget.”
Sharing your business goals and objectives helps users determine if you are the right company they can bring their business into. Try to make sure that your mission/ vision helps them understand that you are there to help, and how beneficial you are to them.
Optimize responsive and mobile-friendliness
If you haven’t worked on this optimization step, then chances are your site is not user-friendly on all types of devices. Since the core purpose of improving your website is User Experience, this is an essential element.
Google may penalize sites that are not optimized for mobile devices and this is something you want to avoid. There is an emphasis on the importance of your website’s responsiveness as more users use mobile devices more than ever.
Remember, accessibility to all devices can be very assuring to your users, as they know that you can be accessed anytime, at any device with the same great positive user experience. This lowers bounce rates and increases website traffic and returning users.
Be mindful of 404s.
It is imperative that each link that your users’ click will take them to the page they want to go. Again, once users are directed to a blank page or a 404 page, this affects your user experience, affecting your bounce rate and overall website metrics; plus it’s annoying.
How do you determine pages that have potential 404 errors? Simply use this free tool by Google, called the Google Search Console. This is a webmaster tool that will crawl your pages and send you a report on pages with errors, that way you catch them early on and do a fix. If just in case one of your pages need more time to fix, or its been taken down due to some major redesign, ensure that you create page redirects or some creative 404 pages to let your users know you are aware and that page will be back soon. Here are some cool ideas and ways to show your 404 pages just in case.
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