“If you own a business, a fast and responsive website is
no longer an option – it’s a requirement for success!”
– David Dillow, Blue Byte Design
1. Simple Is Better
It’s David from Blue Byte Design, thanks for checking out our blog, read this, use it, share it, everyone is going to benefit from the awesome info throughout this blog. I’m kicking it off with the “simple is better” approach, so your website is online, your contact information is accurate, and you are ready to take on visitors. The visitors begin to pour in and for some unknown reason they leave as quickly as they came, you may be asking Why? Here are a few tips to improve websites of all types, let’s start with keeping things simple.
You are great at what you do, you are an expert, and you love to show it, but visitors to your site won’t be on the same level as you, and excessive technical details may drive away confused clients. Avoid long technical words, stick to the point, and finally tell visitors what they need to know. Considering our present way of life, the limited time and the fast-paced society that we live in, your visitors will thank you for being simple and concise.
2. A Clear and Concise Call-To-Action
Nothing frustrates potential clients more than trying to figure out what services you provide. If they must guess at what you offer, then don’t expect them to stick around. They are going to move on to the next site. Your site should not be a virtual maze or puzzle requiring 5 to 10 clicks to see the services you offer. Provide simple instructions on what it is you do by:
- Using a highlighted section that stands out
- A bright button, or bold hyperlinked text
- Also, banners or colored segments within a page attract attention and drive action which is why you built your site in the first place.
Look at Dropbox, for example, they have a big blue button that says “Sign Up For Free”, you can’t miss it, it’s big, bold, and still looks professional.
The call-to-action takes your visitors from being passive to action, driving up sales, contacts, signups, and other actions on your site.
3. Your Site Must Be Mobile Friendly
In 2016 for the first time ever, internet traffic from mobile devices surpassed those on a traditional computer, and this trend is continuing in 2017. As smartphones continue to become more and more popular and mobile speeds faster, it’s, therefore, critical that your site is ready for visitors on phones, tablets, laptops, and desktops. To greatly improve your website it must be a responsive site. This means that a site that will adjust depending on the screen it’s displayed on is now a requirement.
Even Google will lower your website’s rank and score in search results if it’s not mobile friendly.
If your site is not yet responsive or mobile friendly, let us know and we can run a free test for you or you can visit Google’s mobile-friendly testing site.
4. A Fast Website Makes Visitors Happy
In this digital age of high speed, your visitors expect your site to load quickly and smoothly and this is critical for new and repeat visitors alike. In fact, you have one chance to wow them with your site. Did you know that 80% of those who find sites that load slowly don’t return for the second time? It’s quite important to mention that your site has 3 seconds to load before 50% of your visitors move on.
If you are wondering how long it takes your site to load, contact us and we will run a FREE speed test and provide you with a full report. If your site loads slowly, we can help get you back on the superhighway.
5. Use White Space
Visitors need room to digest what it is you are displaying. If your site is crammed full of images and text, it’s tough to read through it all, it looks distracting.
Think about adding spaces between paragraphs and sections on each page as well. This gives visitors a chance to breathe and move on to the next section, making it easier to digest what you are showing them. To improve your website, clean out some of the fluff and extra clutter that just doesn’t add any value, think of it as virtual purging.
In the image above from the Apple watch page, the white space allows for a clean, simple, easy to understand look. Your eyes see the watch and then simply know where to start reading.
6. Contact Information & Contact Forms
This is especially relevant to business websites. Simply the number one complaint by online users, “I can’t find out how to contact this organization”. Therefore, display your phone number in the top 1/3 of your site. Place contact forms at the bottom of all pages and add your full contact information in your footer (the bottom of the page) and on your contact us page.
Visitors should be able to locate contact information from anywhere on your site including blogs and shopping carts.
If you have an email address on your site, replace it with a contact us link, or add a contact form in its place if possible. Most online users now prefer to simply fill out a contact form and click send. It just takes too long to copy an email link, log into your email account, paste it in and send. Double that frustration on a mobile device. Stick with contact forms and you will increase your communication with visitors, plus it’s nice to add a professional thank you for contacting us message.
7. Check & Re-check Grammar and Spelling
Nothing screams unprofessional and “I am lazy” as much as multiple misspellings, repeated words, filler text that was never deleted, and grammar errors on your site. You don’t have to be a great proofreader, there are services that will look over your entire site and proofread the text for you and provide feedback or changes.
7. Use Professional Images – Not Free Stock Photos
I may write an entirely separate blog post on just images, it’s that important. Photos and images provide more information under 2 seconds than an entire page of text. We are visual people and photos create emotion. It’s important to use photos that are in focus, lighted properly, clean, professional, and positive. Your visitors should feel relaxed and trusting as they view your professional images. Another point to note is; don’t creep people out with weird or old and outdated images of fake people.
Don’t even think about taking photos from other sites, it’s unprofessional, and you can be sued for theft of intellectual property. Instead, purchase relevant photos from sites like dreamtime.com or shutterstock.com which have thousands of options in quality, sizing, and pricing.
Bonus Info: As a side note, make sure you optimize the images to keep them at 300kbs in size or below. Large images will drastically slow down your site and drop your ranking with search engines. Plus if a visitor is on a mobile device, they are not going to wait around for your giant images to load. If you need image resizing services to assist with your website speed, please contact us and we will be happy to help out.
8. Increase Your Website’s Trust
We have all come across a creepy or shady website, that makes you want to close your browser. With so many websites posting and selling the same thing, who is trustworthy and who is not? Here are a few ways to gain the trust from your website viewers:
- HTTPS. Your site should have that green bar that says secure at the top left of https://yourdomain.com. This shows visitors that you are serious about their safety and the protection of their data on your site. It also says that you are a legitimate business and plan on being around for a while, and finally, it shows that you keep up with the latest technology.
- Add real, yes real testimonials to your site, don’t fake them because people will know.
- Again post your contact information all over the site so visitors can get in touch at any time via email or phone. Sites without contact information seem shady and untrustworthy to visitors.
- Make it easy to check and verify your company or business by using seals, or a certification number if you have one. This adds even more credibility to the fact that you are a professional organization that follows the rules.
- Add real education and training courses completed by you or your employees to help build that trust that you are an expert in your field.
9. Add A “Meet Our Team” Page
We all wonder who is working behind the site, what kind of people run the business, and if we will ever get along with them? The experts are the people who run the company and it’s nice to meet them virtually. Adding a team page to your site provides a unique insight into the people you may be working with and potentially investing time and money into.
The team page can be simple and concise, but at least include the following:
- A clean professional photo that matches the other photos
- A short bio
- Their position on the team
- A few personal interests and hobbies and
- Their social media links or LinkedIn in pages.
It’s a great way to knock down walls and build a relationship because your visitors feel more connected to you and your company.
10. Remove Sliders and Carousels
Sliders and carousels are poor ways to show off your website especially to first-time visitors. In the mid-2000’s, they were very popular. Although, they were originally developed for advertising, yet studies have proven they hurt you in the end. People actually tend to skip over sliders and look for more relevant information. Also, if a person does click through, or watch your slider, they end up staying on the top 1/3 of your homepage, viewing the slider and then leaving.
Instead of a slider, use a clear and concise high-quality graphic with a small block of text, a button to learn more, and leave room for white space.
That Wraps It Up
I hope you found the information in this blog useful, and applicable. Some of the topics can be a bit technical, so I invite you to contact Blue Byte Design at any time with questions or to hire our expert web design services and ensure the work is done properly.
Finally, to improve websites remember, your site needs to be simple, with a clean design, loads very fast and attracts people into your call-to-action button or graphic.
Follow these steps and you will see results.