Website best practice – make your website work for you!
As a business owner, you know your premises need to be clean, tidy and comfortable for your staff and customers. But do you feel the same about your website?
Well, you should!
Your website is just as essential as your shop window or your office foyer. It’s likely the first impression potential customers get of you and your business. Get it wrong, and people will pass you by. Get it right, and you will feel the benefit.
According to a recent study*, 48% of web users believe website design is the most important factor when judging a business’s credibility, and 38% of visitors will leave a website if it’s unattractive.
It’s no easy task, though. Putting together an effective website that will attract traffic, boost your rankings and increase sales is more complicated than it sounds. However, no need to worry; we’ve put together a quick list of main things you need to consider when designing – or redesigning – your website. Enjoy!
Homepage/landing page layouts
Your homepage or landing page is the first thing your potential customer will see after clicking on your ad or link. It’s important. It has a very serious job to do – pique their interest, get them to stay there, and hopefully, get them to buy from you. You can’t just throw a homepage or landing page together; there are some essential things to consider when designing it.
Here are a few tips to take into account:
- Keep it simple. Don’t overload the page with clutter; keep it minimalistic with just the information you need.
- Make it clear what the website is about. If people can’t work out what you’re selling, they’ll be off.
- Ensure there’s a call to action above the fold.
- Don’t use shoddy photos; only use high-quality images and originals if possible.
- Keep the messaging clear and straightforward with easy to read copy that’s free from waffle. You want to keep customers’ interest, not bore them.
Page Load Speed
This is how quickly the content on your website loads. If it’s too slow, you’ll lose people and their business. So you must have a good page load speed on all devices – desktop and mobile. If you’re not sure of your page speed, you can check it with Google’s PageSpeed Insights to ensure it’s fast enough. Page speed is also important because it’s one of the signals used by Google’s algorithms when ranking pages, and so a high page load speed can help you improve your Google rankings. There are several ways by which you can increase your page speed, including:
- Reducing redirects
- Improving server response times
- Optimising your code
- Enabling compression
- Leveraging browser caching
SEO is probably one of the most valuable aspects of website development. Everyone knows you need SEO, but not everyone knows how to use it. It’s so much more than simply throwing a few keywords around. It’s a real science these days, and if done well, it can make a big difference, boosting rankings and increasing traffic. Here are our five top tips to get you on the road to great SEO. You can also read about them in more detail here.
- Set up a Google my Business account.
- Get customer reviews.
- Refresh your content – both copy and images.
- Create regular blogs.
- Share content on social media.
Once you’ve got someone to visit your website, you want to make them stay long enough to make a purchase, register or contact you. To do this, you need them to have a positive user experience. If the site is slow, unresponsive, ugly, cluttered or confusing, they’ll probably lose interest and go elsewhere. In fact, according to a recent study*, a massive 88% of web shoppers said they were unlikely to go back to a website if they had a negative user experience the first time. It’s essential that you don’t fall foul to this, and here’s how:
- Make sure your design is sleek, attractive and clear.
- There needs to be consistency. Your brand needs to be reflected throughout – in the copy, imagery and layout.
- The site should be easy to navigate and simple to follow. The user should be able to see exactly where to go to find what they need.
It’s a good idea to check regularly for errors and broken links within your website. It’s essential to keep on top of things to ensure that everything is working as it should. A website full of broken links and mistakes can put off customers, giving them the impression that your business is unprofessional. As soon as you spot an error, fix it!
*Stats source – https://review42.com/resources/web-design-statistics/