Estimated Reading Time:
Within 5 seconds of landing on your website, can your visitors determine what your company does?
If not, you might want to reconsider the layout and strategy of your website.
Your website should clearly communicate with your audience what you do and why you do it.
Do you have an extremely high bounce rate? If you have a high bounce rate, the problem could lie amongst several key elements of your site.
Here's 10 website tips to ensure that you're going in the right direction. There's nothing worse than a website that is turning visitors away.
A high bounce rate is a definite red flag that there's something seriously wrong with your website. There's a big possibility that you're not conveying the right message or the message is different from the product or service you provide.
10 Tips for Improving Your Web Design
1. Have a Plan
Don't just start designing your website. To ensure that your website is effectively meeting the needs of your visitors you need to map out your customers journey from the first time they visit your website to the moment they become a customer.
What pages are they going to view, content they're going to read and what offers are they going to convert on? Understanding that information will help you design a site that helps push leads down the sales funnel.
You want to design your website for the next step not the final step. It's all about answering the right questions in the right order. This might be where context comes into play. Take what you already know about your current customers and how they went from a visitor to a customer to map out your strategy.
2. Remove the Following From Your Website
You are going to find that certain elements on your website are going to detract from the value and message you're trying to convey. You definitely don't want to be that one site still using flash. Did you get the memo that it's 2013?
One think you'll definitely want to remove from your website is complicated animations. You might be wondering, why? There are a few reasons. It could be causing your website to load at a slower rate than your competitors.
With an audience that only has an attention span of 8 seconds, don't give them an additional reason to visit your competitors website. Also, most browsers don't display flash.
Any media or animation should be used to support your content.
The other element you want to limit the use of on across your website is jargon. No one likes that gobbledygook. Those terms will either mean nothing to your visitors or you'll make them roll their eyes.
Avoid using these words: next generation, flexible, robust, scalable, easy to use, cutting edge, ground breaking, best of breed, mission critical ... those are all words that have over used by hundreds if not thousands of companies.
3. Include Social Share and Follow Buttons
Make it easy for your audience and visitors to follow and share your content. The only way is to include on every page of your website. And by every page I mean your homepage, landing pages, blog articles, and marketing emails.
The more reach you have the better.
4. Implement Calls-to-Action
Once your visitors land on your site do they know what to do next? They won't know what pages to view or actions to take if you don't provide them with some sort of direction.
Don't be afraid to ask your visitors to do something. Add a call-to-action.
Tell them to click here for more information, download our sample GamePlan, request an assessment, watch the video, see all inbound marketing services, see pricing are examples of various actions your visitors can take upon visiting your site.
5. Use the Right Images
Not every image is going to fit with the type of message you're trying to show your audience. This has been said over and over but do not use stock photos.
Not only do they look cheesy but also they don't portray your audience or the people that work for your company.
Use actual images of your employees and your office. Show them working at their desk or talking on the phone.
Your objective should be to create a good user experience. When designing your website, navigation is key. You might want to identify the stickiness factor of your site. Which is how long a visitor is engaged and interested in your brand’s site.
There's nothing worse than a site where you cannot find anything. It's important to ensure that your visitors can easily find what they're looking for. You know it's bad when your visitors have to look through your site map.
According to a recent HubSpot survey, 76% say that the most important element in web design is ease in finding information. If they cannot find what they're looking for, they have no reason to stay on your site. They will find a company that has the information they're looking for.
7. Let Your Visitors Scroll
Above the fold is old. Don't be weary of designing a longer homepage. Consider including key sections of your website on your home.
Don't stick to the traditional and old school brochure website, don't confine your visitors to a 1200 x 800 px screen.
Consider adding the following elements to your homepage:
- Value proposition
- Overview of services
- About us
- Testimonials / proof
- Case studies
8. Don't be Afraid of Whitespace
The theory less is more still holds true. You don't need to to fill every inch of your site with text or images. Whitespace is an essential design element. That space will help you break up the page . Did you know that when whitespace is used correctly, it actually gives your site a polished look.
9. Mobile Optimization
Don't forget about optimizing your site for mobile. Consider implementing a responsive design. An impressive 80.5% of website visitors are accessing websites through mobile phones.
It's all about tailoring your site to fit the needs and wants of your visitors. You might want to ask yourself, why would someone access my site on mobile? What things would they look for?
When accessing a site on mobile, most visitors are looking for an address, blog, hours of operation, and etc.
10. Get Found
It's all about getting found. Your site should be search friendly. With that point you should develop an SEO strategy that takes into consideration the search terms your audience would search for to find your product or service.
Develop a strategy that includes creating content that's relevant to the needs of your visitors. Videos, blog articles and ebooks are all forms of content that will drive visitors to your site.