Approximately 50 milliseconds – that’s the length of time it takes for users to create a first impression of your business. If it’s not positive, it takes only a couple more seconds for them to be checking out your competitor instead.
There’s no doubt about it: You need your website to stand out. Hopefully, after reading our last blog post, you’ve spent time making your website content the best it can be. But before you can check “update website” off your to-do list, you need to take a minute and review the look of your website, too. Here’s what to keep in mind when deciding whether you need to refresh your website design.
Research shows that website design is responsible for 94% of the first impressions a website makes. Web users want to look at beautifully designed sites that are engaging and interesting to look at – not plain, boring, and outdated sites.
Wondering what constitutes an outdated look? If your site uses a trendy design that’s no longer current, can’t display correctly on mobile devices, or utilizes Flash technology, it’s time for a site redesign. Checking out your conversion rates is another indicator – if they’re low, your website is doing something wrong.
Updating the look of your site can be done easier than you think. Include authentic images rather than stock photos, select a modern layout, match your branding to your site, and integrate your site with social media.
But avoid getting too crazy with your website’s look – useability should always come first. For example, be sure to use white space effectively to help your users focus on elements around the text and if you include animation, do so with website performance in mind.
From the moment a website visitor lands on your page, they need to experience a site that’s easy to navigate. Defined as the framework that defines your site’s structure, site layout plays a large role in the amount of user engagement you receive.
To help maximize the level of user engagement, you need clear paths for navigation within webpages. Website visitors are not willing to spend more than a couple of minutes looking for the information they require, so keep that in mind when reviewing your site’s design.
Display crucial information – namely your company’s products/services and contact and about us information – in a prominent location on your homepage. Get rid of any confusing menus and unnecessary information that can affect your website’s user experience (UX).
Whether you’re working on your site’s design or content, you can’t escape the importance of search engine optimization (SEO). There’s plenty of factors that Google uses when ranking content, with some of the key ones being image and mobile optimization, header tags, meta descriptions, and page speed. Use an auditing tool to discover common SEO mistakes and address what may affect site load times.
And don’t forget about soft 404 errors (pages not found). If you have links or images that are not working correctly, repair them ASAP using an online free 404 checker. If not, you risk annoying your user and driving their traffic elsewhere.
No business owner wants to put their website users at risk of getting their confidential information hacked. The result of that is a complete PR nightmare and a massive hit on your company’s reputation.
When designing your site, you need to make it as secure as possible. Sites that lack the Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) protocol are more vulnerable to a third party’s cyberattack. When web traffic visits a site that only has a Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP), they receive a “Not Secure” warning in the address bar and a pop-up that provides additional information. This can make them wary of continuing to your site and even place your business’s credibility at risk.
If your site lacks the HTTPS protocol, now’s the time to fix it. Install a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) security certificate and properly update your site’s URL to make your site more secure.
and that’s where we come in
The words on your site are hugely important – they explain what you offer and why your target market should buy it. But to have a site that provides a great user experience, you need to make your website design the best, too.
Need assistance with your website design or copywriting? From Wix to WordPress and from no website to a brand new one, we can help! Contact our Toronto copywriters and web designers by booking a free 15-minute consult today.