When it comes to your website, you should already know that having a high-quality website means that you are more likely to get and keep visitors. It is well-known that the online age is a golden one, and that you need to be in some way attached to the internet if you want to go anywhere with your enterprise.
However, this only works if you aren’t completely turning off your client base before they even know what page they’ve ended up on.
With the myriad of other sites out there, it’s easy to think that yours will have no problem sticking out, but that’s where catastrophe can set in. Here are six areas worth reviewing that can help you better optimize your business website designs:
If you’re not going for the typical black text on a white background approach, the worst thing that you can possibly do is combine hard-to-read fonts with poor color choices. There are ways to minimize this, however. Avoid neon colors for the most part, regardless of what you’re selling. They’re hard on the eyes and particularly hard on bright screens. They are even worse when you pair almost any color with them. Check out Adobe Kuler for different ways to improve readability based on their different color wheels that will help balance out the color codes that you’re going for.
Don’t forget the rule of thumb on any site: Do not switch up your font too often. Sites with too many different font types are hard to read. Try something in the Sans Serif area for ease of readability and when you do switch up your font type, make it have an impact. If you are going to switch your font, have a good reason to do so.
A cluttered site is a frustrating site. A site that refuses to label its pages along with being cluttered with extra information that the clientele does not need is even worse. Sometimes pages start out completely organized, but after a few page tweaks and extra articles thrown in, you begin to realize that it wasn’t as organized as it was before. Some pages go forgotten, even on the best of sites, leaving your readers confused and agitated.
Consider that some of the worst in this category are the offenders who never take down old content, or allow it to take up space where new content should be. You do not necessarily have to delete old articles, especially if you feel that they are still relevant, but it’s good to be aware that over time facts and opinions may change. Consider updating old articles, or simply removing them, when their details no longer match what the aim of your site.
If you don’t have the time to keep up with this, it is also a good idea to hire a website ‘gardener’ that will go through old content and prune the dead branches, allowing the site to continue to grow. Most people enjoy simply looking for new content, working on it and adding to the mass of articles and posts that are already there. If you don’t have the time yourself, it is important that you find someone who is willing to sort through the past so that your visitors don’t get wrapped up in old information.
Remember that your content is what is driving your users to your base. If they cannot find it due to improper labels, painful readability, or an inability to navigate their way to where they want to go, it can drive them away very easily.
Sometimes, whether by oversight or the fact that the businesses don’t see the value, contact details can be completely left off of a website. This is an understandable, but serious, mistake. Whether it is general information on how to contact you or something like a link to your social media page, let the consumer know what’s going on and how to be in touch with you.
An important method for keeping in contact with your customers is the email subscribing list, which is perhaps one of the best tricks in the website arsenal. It will let people interested in your products know when new things are coming their way. This is especially helpful if you are offering something that they find interesting, but may not exactly what they think they are looking for. Another option you could use would be incentives for joining the subscribing list which has a fairly good chance to attract more people and potentially turn over new revenue. Above all, these lists let the user know what plans the company is making and if any new items are available for them to peruse.
As in keeping with the previous step, make sure that these are clearly labeled, but not interfering with the set up of your site. You don’t want to clutter it with meaningless information, so don’t clutter your site with constant reminders to sign up with an email list. People will want the business email, numbers, address, and of course, other ways to reach you. Make certain that all of these things are in places that are easy to find.
In this age of technological revolutions, and the fact that there are more phones being sold than PCs, be aware that your site must be able to work on almost every single device that may crop up between various people. Do not just check the iOS for its compatibility, but check out the other various systems and devices to make sure that your site is both compatible and readable upon them. A badly organized site that has not been tested across multiple platforms will lose visitors who don’t have the patience to try and muddle their way though it.
It is integral to the success of your website that it have a responsive design that will adapt to whatever device your visitors may be using. If you don’t follow these important steps to keep up with changing technologies and stay relevant, your site could be left behind.
A commonly forgotten mistake is forgetting that some platforms do not support Flash, meaning that if your design focuses highly on it, you could lose visitors that are tired of seeing errors everywhere. Make sure that your host can keep up with the activity both from phones throughout the world and various devices.
Advertising is an integral tool of most businesses, but overdoing it can irritate visitors and cause them to leave. Make sure that your ads are placed in areas that are visible, but clean, and that they do not detract from the purpose of your website. If you have a blog, your ads should not make it hard for your visitors to read what you say. If you are selling something, they should not make your visitors want to click on an advertisement before they get around to wanting to buy from you. Keep it clean and minimal so that your visitors are focused on the most important aspects of your website.
Navigation is a big one for most sites, especially ones just beginning. For a well put together site, many keep their navigation bars at the top or on the left hand side. This is where the visitors expect to find them and where they will look first. Some designs decide to go against the norm and put it elsewhere. If that is the case, it needs to be easy to find and use, or visitors will get frustrated and leave.
It is also important to keep it consistent. Keep it in the same place on every single page so that your users can figure out how to get to where they wish to go without getting confused. Do not mistake this for thinking that your client base is stupid, however. Just keep in mind that you want your visitors to feel like they know where they are. If you change up your navigation, make it hard to find, they won’t be the ones feeling silly.
It’s also helpful to also highlight the section of the site that they are on. If they click on the “sports” tab of a navigation window, keep that button highlighted a different color, so that they know where they are later, and where they navigate from there. Similarly, make sure that all of your navigation buttons are clearly labeled. People like to know on what they’re clicking, not have to guess.
And there you have it: the classic blunders of the website-making world. Re-evaluate (and possibly revamp) these six components to better optimize your business website, improve traffic levels and provide your visitors with the design elements they need for easy browsing.