Every business needs a website, but does every website do the right job for that business, asks Jake Crone, web developer and digital strategist at KBB Digital.
Follow these 10 steps and you will easily and quickly increase your websites user experience and make your website stand out in the crowd.
1. Keep your website clean, up-to-date and modern
What does this even mean? It means keeping your imagery, products and content relevant to your business fresh and appealing. Your website isn’t just a website, it’s your online store front, it’s the first impression customers receive of your business. People will generally search for and research a business online. Ask yourself and be honest, is your websites’ first impression what you want to convey?
If it’s not, then how or why would your customers find their way to you? Imagine what you’re missing out on from someone not giving your business a chance because of a bad first experience. Review your competitors’ sites, again it’s time for honesty, which company would you go for.
Your website should convey how you want your customer to feel first and then offer them your products and or services.
2. If you’ve built your website yourself, pick your template and stick with it
It’s true you can build your own site with one of the many platforms out there. Wix, Squarespace, WordPress to name a few but here’s the trick and this is where many DIY’ers get into trouble. You need to use the theme you’ve chosen and don’t’ deviate. Unless you’re a coding whizz of course, but if you are you already know this stuff! These templates are built to look great as you see them. If you try to add too much copy, too many images, these theme’s / templates lose their integrity and you get into trouble. Stick with the theme and you’ll be able to create a really great functional website.
3. Make sure your website is optimised and working on mobile
A study in 2018/2019 found that up to 70% of web traffic happens on a mobile and 46% of people say that they would not purchase from a company if they had an interrupted or poor mobile experience. To add fuel to this fire, up to 40% of people only ever search on mobile. So, OPTIMISE FOR MOBILE so your site gets the big green tick.
Make contact info easily accessible
Keep content short and in bite sized chunks
Choose speed over extra media
4. Make sure your website is fast
Why, because speed is important to your user and to Google. 40% of people have said they would abandon a website if it took more than 3 seconds to load. Our experience is a little slower than this, at between 5 – 10 secs. Users are said to spend 70% more time and have 60% more page views on websites that load quickly versus the average (15sec). Page speed can also impact on your AdWords quality score and google will penalise slow sites, in mobile search. So what can you do?
- Caching that’s what. There are lots of plug-ins you can use for this. So once loaded your user gets a faster user experience the next time they log in!
- Media, media, media – Resize and compress your images. Tinypng.com is a great free tool. Don’t forget about videos’ compress them too and make sure you host them on YouTube or Vimeo (not on your site).
5. Write your content in bite sized chunks,
Write captivating headings and use bullet points for important information.
Nothing is going to turn your customers away more than blocks and blocks and pages and pages of words! Boring and it’s hard to find what they’re looking for. Make it easy for them, guide them, show them, teach them.
6. Get good images and compress/resize your media
We don’t all have the luxury of professional photo shoots or an endless supply of Shutterstock downloads but, today most of us have pretty decent phones that take pretty decent photos. Again ,remember to resize and optimise. Nothing like a blurry, stretched, warped photo to ruin your first impression.
7. Host your videos on YouTube and embed them
This one ties in with the need to keep your website fast on all platforms. Don’t host your videos on your site and make sure they’re not set to automatically play sound! Nothing more embarrassing than being in meeting hand having a cheeky look at a video, only to blast the room! Host your vid’s on YouTube or Vimeo and embed them. Easy!
8. Make sure every page has a ‘next step’.
You want to hold your potential customers hand like a little kid and lead gently through your site. So that means every page must have a where to now? If we’re lead to the bottom of the page and then there’s nothing, we’re gonna leave, no matter how pretty or clever everything has been. So next steps is where it’s at……..learn more, contact us, view our gallery, shop the look, send us an email, make a booking……….the ways to do this are endless. Next Steps are a must on Every. Single. Page.
9. Add Testimonials, accreditation logos, awards etc.
I know, we’re Australian, we’re not really about singing our own praises but, we really need to. You want people that visit your site to feel safe and secure to shop with, work with you and your business. So, talk to your existing customers and get them to tell everyone how awesome you are! Plus, if you’re registered and accredited, don’t leave that out. Show your potential customers that you are a reputable business, worthy of their trust and custom.
10. Optimize your pages meta title and headings with keywords that people will type in, remember long tail
This is for your SEO. Search Engine Optimisation. Basically, so google can find your website and show it to people who are searching for your service or product. This is a huge topic for another day check out this blog we did a little while ago on SEO and gleen some more info.