It’s a new year – time for a fresh new start. For many people, that means it’s finally time to give that tired, old, difficult-to-update website a facelift. But where do you start?
The first step is to analyze your conversion goals. Oftentimes, they’re not as good as they could be, simply because the site itself is too cumbersome or confusing for visitors to use. With a conversion-focused redesign in mind, here’s what to look at:
User experience is everything on the web. Even search engines know how user-friendly your site is. How? They track things like how many people click through to your website when it’s served in search results, how long a user stays on your site, how many pages they view while they’re there, and more. If your website has a high click-through rate, and most people view five pages in a visit to your site, the search engines can determine that there must be good content on your site.
So what does this mean?
You want to make it as easy as possible for people to interact with your site. And in the mobile-obsessed age we live in, you’d be remiss not to ensure your site is easy to interact with across all mobile devices, too.
The following questions should help you effectively assess your website and determine whether it’s time to redesign.
Flat design has been popularized by operating systems and its touch-screen capabilities and is praised by designers for its ability to create an intuitive, easy-to-navigate experience for users. Large, crystal-clear “hero shots” of your product or service, coupled with an attention-getting, direct headline and easy to spot call-to-action buttons make taking action on a page straightforward and simple.
It has been shouted from the rooftops since 2012 –responsive design is the way to go. Not only do Google and your mobile device users love it, but it will save you money on development costs in the long run, since developers only have to create one framework for multiple devices. That makes your design virtually future-proof as handheld tablets and smartphones become increasingly intertwined in our daily lives.
Content-wise, there’s an ongoing push to compact and simplify. Forget the grandiose descriptions and whack-a-mole portfolios, content in the new year is all about putting your benefits and features on the table, and letting the user decide. As they scroll, you share new tidbits that keep them with their finger on the pulse of the scroll-wheel.
Every sentence, and every word has a job to do. Cut out any excess fluff that doesn’t somehow lend itself to your original paragraph thought – your readers won’t believe it anyway.
What else is important: Drop-down menus are wonderful for usability. They help organize content and help users navigate through your site. They also ensure it’s easy to keep moving through different areas of your website, rather than leaving users hanging, unsure how they got where they are or how to get back to the content they looked at previously.
How to tell if your menus are easy to use: Hover over an item in the top navigation of your website. Does a list pop up? If so, you have dropdown menus! Another important step in evaluating menu usability is to look at internal pages on your site. If you have a left- or right-hand navigation on your site that doesn’t automatically appear on new pages you create, this can be detrimental to usability.
It’s important to have call to action. Why?: If users don’t find what they’re looking for quickly, most won’t spend their time and energy to dig for it. You have a small window of time to capture a user, so you want to make sure there’s no question about how you want them to interact with your site.
How to determine if your CTA is clear: First, identify what it is that you’d like a user to do when they visit your site. Do you want them to fill out a contact form? Sign up for your e-newsletter? Register for an event? You may identify two or three goals. Now: Is it easy for users to complete that task? If your ultimate goal is to collect email addresses, but you don’t have a form where users can sign up to receive your emails, it might be time to rethink your current design.
If you think you may be interested in website design but have additional questions not mentioned above, our highly experienced team can help! We work to help clients achieve their website development goals day in and day out, and it would be our pleasure to answer any questions you may have.Contact Us