It's a good idea to review your site periodically for outdated content and ways to improve its functionality. Here are 9 ways to ensure your site is doing what's it was designed to do... to make your job easier and bring in those customers!
These days, people expect websites to do more than just be pretty; they want websites to be responsive, intuitive, and engaging. If maintain your business website, read on for nine ways you can improve your site’s design and get it working harder for you.
1. It’s All About the User Experience
It’s your website’s job to make its users feel welcome, understood, respected, and to work well for its users. This is called the user experience, which can include everything from the colors used to the type of fonts chosen and the website’s general appearance. A well-designed website is also an excellent way to attract new business and engage existing customers.
The best websites provide a great user experience across all their pages, helping visitors navigate a website smoothly. And because a good user experience is also likely to increase the time a user spends on a website, this can result in increased lead generation and conversion rates.
The key factors in user experience are:
The ease of use
The visual appeal
The response time
The information provided
2. Functionality and Performance
In addition to being designed well, your website needs to function well and meet your objectives. When choosing a website design service provider, you should consider these two factors and how well the designer meets your requirements.
In terms of functionality, you want your site to work correctly. It should include features that will allow visitors to find the information they need quickly. For example, you must ensure that it’s easy to find your services or products on your website and your business’s contact details. This will help visitors find what they want instead of leaving the site.
It should also be easy for your clients to navigate through your site. It’s vital that your customers can easily navigate around the site and click on links or buttons to move between pages. If this isn’t possible, it can cause frustration and reduce your customers’ level of satisfaction.
A website should also perform well. In other words, it should load fast, display clear images and text, and provide a smooth user experience. A well-designed website that doesn’t perform well can be frustrating for visitors. They may not be able to find what they are looking for, or they may struggle to understand the text on the page.
Poor performance can also lead to a loss of visitors and customers. You should ensure that your website works well on all devices and platforms. That means ensuring your website looks good on mobile phones, tablets, desktops, and laptops. You should also test your website to see if it loads quickly on different browsers, such as Chrome, Firefox, and Safari.
3. Design for Mobile Devices
Designing your website for mobile devices is one of the best ways to increase the traffic to your website. This will make it easy for people to navigate on any device, any time, anywhere.
Responsive web design (RWD) is a method for designing websites that respond to different devices and screen sizes. RWD makes it possible to build a single website that can work well across multiple devices and screen sizes. This is absolutely essential today, as most people surf the web on their smartphones. Again, having your site professionally designed will ensure that it looks great on all screen sizes and devices.
RWD is based on a few core principles:
Your site should adapt to the device it is being viewed on.
Your site should work responsively on any screen size.
Your site should load quickly.
The primary purpose of RWD is to make websites compatible with mobile devices. Mobile devices have smaller screens than desktop computers. Websites designed for desktop computers look small when viewed on a mobile device.
4. The Visual Appeal
Websites are business tools, so they should be designed professionally. When a website is poorly designed, it does more than look bad; it can affect your company’s profits.
To make your site look great, your best bet is to hire a web designer. They will have the software and skills to ensure that all visual aspects of your site are attractive, visually pleasing, and will perform well on the web.
Web design involves designing a webpage, a website for a business, a blog or something else. If you’re looking for a website, you may go to your web host, which is the company that provides your computer with Internet service. There are many different web hosting companies, and you should choose one based on your needs. You can buy a template website or pay a web designer to design a custom-made website.
You may decide to save some money by tackling the website build yourself. But web design is not as easy as some people think, (or as some online site builders make it sound.) Skilled and time-consuming tasks are involved, such as customizing a design template, deciding on colors and fonts, sizing images, and copywriting. This is especially difficult if you are not good with computers or don’t know anything about website design because you also need to have a basic understanding of html and how web links work. You need to know how to size images for the web and optimal loading time. You also need know how to consolidate information about your business and present it in a concise and easy-to-navigate format that will encourage viewers to stay on your site.
Hiring web designer can be pricey, but will usually pay off big in the long run. A web designer can help you decide the colors, fonts and other elements, help with image sizing, and sometimes assist with copywriting too. Just do your homework and find a good local web designer to partner with.
After deciding what you want your site to say, how it should be organized, and how it should look, the next thing to do is make a plan. Consolidate all of that information, along with text/content for each page of your site, into a document. Then you'll have what's called a Website Content Plan.
5. Avoid Too Much Information (TMI)
Websites should be helpful, not overwhelming. Too much text and too many links/menu choices can overwhelm your viewers and make it hard to find what they're looking for. This is especially true in web design.
The goal is to make the user’s life easier. To do that, you must convey a clear, concise, and informative message. It shouldn’t be cluttered with too many distractions, animations or links. In addition, it should be visually appealing and easy to navigate.
An excellent example of this is on Pinterest. You are shown many images when searching for anything, such as a recipe. However, when you click on one of the pictures, it only takes you to the “pin it” page, where you can read the recipe or follow the link to the website. It’s an efficient design. The information is presented in an intuitive way that users will read.
In general, less is more. Keeping the user’s attention on the content is vital, so it should be easy to read, engaging, and visually pleasing. In addition, it should provide the most relevant information for the user at any given time.
6. Balance Between UX & Aesthetics
In the early days of the Web, the design was mostly about creating a beautiful visual layout. Over the years, the role of good User Experience (UX) design has expanded. The web has become much more than just an easy-to-use, quick-to-load site. The average person spends more than two hours daily using digital devices. And that’s not counting the time spent on social media and apps.
Good web design is about finding the best balance between usability and aesthetics. It's not just a visual task. It requires understanding the whole customer journey, including the user experience. This complex process goes beyond looking at a screen and making a judgment. It involves understanding and testing the product and its various components. It is about understanding the user, how they interact with your product and the overall experience they have with your site.
User Experience Design (UXD) is a holistic approach that combines a range of disciplines such as user research, copywriting, graphic design, information architecture, prototyping, psychology, usability and content strategy. UXD is not only an area of interest to your website designer. Other functions or departments within your business should also be considered, such as marketing, product management, sales and product development. UXD requires cross-discipline collaboration to create a successful, engaging and valuable user experience. For your website to be successful, you need to think holistically. You must work with your whole team, including your customers and users, to ensure the design aligns with your business goals.
Good UX web designers ensure they are well-optimized for various devices and operating systems, and are aware of the latest technologies and trends in the market. They understand the challenges facing the user in their industry. They create innovative designs that work in all contexts. They aim to create products and services that help users do their jobs more quickly and efficiently.
7. Make Sure Your Site SELLS
There are many methods of making sure you have a successful sales page. Let us discuss the top 4 things you need to know about selling products online and ensure your website sells!
1 – Build Trust and a Relationship with your Buyers
Nothing is worse than dealing with someone who doesn’t know what they are doing. This is why building trust and relationships with your buyers is so important. People buy from people they like. You should build customer relationships through emails, blogs, social media, or videos. A good rule of thumb is to be the most responsive you can be.
2 – Focus on your Buyer’s Needs
The last thing you want is to sell to someone who doesn’t need what you are selling. If they don’t need your product or service, they will not buy it. It would be best if you focused on their needs. Ask yourself, “What is the customer’s problem?” This helps you to determine if they need what you are selling or if you are simply trying to make a quick sale.
3 – Get to the Point
Your viewers need to understand precisely what you are offering and why it is something they need. So, tell them! Be clear and concise, and provide that information at the top of every page on your site - especially Home page.
4 – Keep the Sale Intact
Selling is about more than just making a sale. Strive to build trust and relationships with your customers. Once the initial sale is made, don't let the potential repeat business slip away. That is your low-hanging fruit! Keep in touch with your customers after the sale via email with news, special offers, discounts, or a reward on referrals to their friends and relatives. (Always remember to include an "unsubscribe" link in case they want to opt out - spam is no way to build a relationship.)
8. Optimize for Search Engines
Optimize your website for Search Engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing. All the Search Engines work together to provide web users with quality information. They all offer paid services to those who pay for them and use specific tools to assess the relevancy of websites.
Optimizing your website ensures that search engines can easily find what they are looking for. When someone searches for a specific topic, you want your website to appear in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).
Why is this important?
When you optimize your website for search engines, the web user will be directed to your website. A web user who finds the content on your site valuable and relevant will revisit your website. The more they visit your website, the more likely you will gain their interest and loyalty. This can lead to an increase in sales, business, leads, etc.
Optimizing Your Website
Optimizing your site takes time, but it is well worth the effort. To do it, you'll need to follow some basic guidelines.
Ensure that your website is readable. Your website should have a font size larger than 16 pixels. You should also avoid using tables as these are not readable by the Search Engines.
Ensure that you include all of your keywords in your website’s title, headings, meta tags and page content.
Create links between your website and other websites. You can link to pages within your website, or you can link to other websites altogether. The more links you have, your website will be visible to the search engines.
Create links between your website and other websites. You can link to pages within your website, or you can link to other external websites. The more links you have, the more visible your website will be to search engines. There are two types of links:
Outbound Links: Links on your site that lead to other websites. A good way to do this is include a "links of interest", "resources", or "information center" page on your site. Include links to external articles and websites that may be of interest to your viewers.
Inbound Links: Links on other websites that lead to your site. These may be from membership organizations to which you belong, online directories like Google, Yelp and Yellow Pages, and other sites on which you can include your website's URL.
9. Focus On Quality Content
The most critical element to consider when creating a website is the quality of the content, not just the beauty of the design. Design does matter - a lot. The user needs to see a clear and pleasant interface. But good design is useless if the user does not find the quality information he's looking for.
When creating content, we should ask ourselves why the website or application’s content is essential? What information does it provide? What does it do for the user? How does it benefit the visitors? When writing content for our sites and applications, we should always answer these questions.
When considering what information to convey to the visitor, ask yourself, "What problem does the user have that my products or services can help with? The user isn't as interested in "who" you are, or "what" you offer. What they really want to know is W.I.I.F.M. - “What’s In It For Me?” Always write content in a way that appeals to the wants, needs, and problems of your users.
Another great resource for content ideas is the internet. Google what others are doing in your industry. Check out your competitors websites and see how they pitch their services. We're not encouraging you to plagiarize, (search engines do not like that.) But it's a great way to get ideas on what to say. Put your own spin on it and change it up! If you do quote another site or use some of their content, always ask permission and include a link-back to their site where the original text can be found. It's just best practice.
Related Article: DIY Website, or Hire a Pro? »
How can we help you?
Does your business need a beautiful new website to help you attract customers and stand out in the marketplace? Creative Instinct can help! Learn more here: https://www.creativeinstinct.biz/website-design
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Original article by Inkbot on graphicartstoday.com; Link to original article »