So you’ve put all this time and effort into finding a design for your site and it’s there on the web for all to see. You think it’s great and then a little time passes, but it’s not quite delivering the amazing results you expected….So what’s the problem?
Frequently, businesses are settling for sub-standard elements on their websites through a lack of understanding of key factors that can really make or break your users’ experiences. If you want to get more out of your website, pay attention to these tips – more importantly, take action on them. They don’t fix themselves…
Poor Visual Elements
At Eggplant Digital we have built hundreds of websites, and examined thousands. We’ve also researched how websites work for over 12 years by looking at stats, trends, and then adding our own perspective from working with clients. One of the most serious problems we see are the visual elements of a site.
One of the most common complaints from web users is “the site was too busy” or “I couldn’t navigate easily”. Your site has around 5 seconds to get your user taking action and doing what you want. A sure way to get rid of your user is to clutter your site and confuse them.
This is where keeping things simple is critical. Less really is more in this case. If your user is confused and they leave, you’re not going to be getting them back in a hurry.
A common mistake for companies is that they view a website as an online catalogue. This was fairly true of the user experience around 15 years ago when websites were limited in what functions they could perform + how people expected to interact with them.
Now, you have a lot more websites on the internet as well as a larger number of savvy users. You need to keep your site sharp to engage with these visitors. A poor site will only lead them to spend time browsing your competition.
Your Site Doesn’t Talk To Your Audience
Who is your target audience? Do you have a customer avatar? Do you sell to consumers, consultants or businesses? Think about your answers for a couple of minutes, then consider also, who you you don’t sell to (which is equally as important). Looking at who you have previously sold to, is a simple way to answer this in your existing business. Often the business we seek to create, is not the one we end up with….
Does your site speak to your demographic? Do you use the type of language they use? Has your target market changed in the last 6 months? As business owners our target market and products can change very quickly.
You need to keep any eye on these changes in your business and then translate them to your website regularly to stay on top of your game – your marketing needs to be consistent with those you serve, or you are building an inefficient machine.
Your Content Is Lifeless
Your average user spends around 5.59 seconds paying attention to a site’s written material. If you haven’t made an impression at that point, then it’s probably game over between you and your user.
This doesn’t mean you have to give them every last detail in 5 seconds, but you need to be engaging enough to take them to the next step of the journey on your website.
If you go to a site and the last article was written 2 years ago, this shows you that the site is not being kept up to date. There is a high chance that the written copy on the site is also 2 years old. You can guarantee that there will be a competitor with more recently updated content, and that would be the one that you eventually end up spending time on, and more likely buying from.
Show your potential buyers that you are current in your industry and that you have ideas and solutions for them by publishing articles regularly with your thoughts on relevant changes and innovations in your industry. If you have little or no experience in writing for the web, contact your web design agency to find out more about how to write better quality articles for your audience that are specifically for web users. They may have an in-house writer, or be able to suggest one to you.
Content that is not focused, well organised, and delivering value to your audience can actually have a negative impact on your visitors. Be sure you know how to get a great article together before mindlessly throwing up pages of information.
Don’t Forget How Crucial “About” and “Homepage” Are
If there is anything you should outsource the writing of on your website, that’s the “About” and “Homepage” areas.
These two pages are far and away the most viewed pages on your website. They introduce your brand and state your intent to visitors. Check your own data on your analytics for your site. You’ll see similar results.
The “Contact Us” page ranks pretty highly in importance,too. Try to make sure that you have your phone number and address clearly displayed. These are small but very important trust signals to buyers. You want to come across as a legitimate business from the moment anyone hits your site, so do everything you can to show that as quickly as possible.
More About Improving Your Site
Our list for possible improvements on a site is too big for one post, so we’ll be covering more in next month’s blog. Why don’t you tell us your biggest source of confusion for your website? A perfect website rarely exists for more than around 3 months, so hit us with a quick query in the box below, and we’ll help you fix it.