Your website sells you. It’s the place on the internet that your business has to itself, and you should be making proper use of that. You need to be able to draw in customers and retain their attention, and sometimes that requires a little bit of sacrifice on your part! After all, your website needs to be functional for anyone who comes across it, and that not only lays in the words and descriptions you use, but the interface you chose as well.
So with that in mind, here’s just a couple of ways you can check to make sure your website is explaining itself well. After all, you won’t know how to upgrade and improve your online portal if you have no clue where the potential problems lie in the first place!
Is your site easy to read?
‘Easy to read’ is something all media should be. Have you ever noticed those time stamps on online articles, that inform any potential viewer of how long it might take them to get through the content below? This is just another small way websites are making themselves more visible and more accessible, and you should think about following suit.
If your website is easy to read, a viewer or a customer will have absolutely no problem in understanding the messages on offer. The font will be big enough, and nobody will have to squint at it. The colours of the text will be sharp and bold enough, to make sure they never blend in with the background, nor are they so bright that you can easily confuse a ‘b’ with a ‘c’. You won’t get eye strain from a web designer trying to be a little too fancy with the information offer!
They’ll also be able to naturally follow the flow of information from left to right, with the sentences getting shorter and shorter as they go. After all, you’ve got online attention spans to try and accommodate! Usually people denote this layout as the ‘F’ shape, but you don’t have to get as specific as this – readers scan less and less at the top of a page, and less and less as they go down, and they like to focus their gaze in the middle of the screen. It’s part of human nature when there’s no clear signpost of where you should start reading! You can try for more of a ‘P’ shape if you wish, and move the layout down the page a little to capitalise on its effectiveness.
All in all, make sure that you’re looking at a webpage that you yoursdlf would find easy to read, and try not to stray away from this!
Does it have the right information?
Speaking of information – you’ve got all your company messages and slogans and product descriptions set out in a very presentable manner, but have you written the right things down? There’s a good chance you’re missing a few tricks here: is the info crucial? Is it too long? Is it too short? Is it clear and concise? Does it convey a relatable message or use to a customer that might be interested? These are just a few of the potential questions you should run yourself through before publishing anything.
Not only that, but you need to know the words and phrases you’re using are working for your seo strategy as well. You want to know your descriptions are unique enough to ping a top search, or that they’re common enough to get onto Google or Yahoo or Bing at all. Just like social media using hashtags, you want a word or phrase that has just enough users, and not too many all at the same time. And that’s a delicate balance to try and fulfill; feel free to call in some experts, such as marketing professionals or a social media manager to help you out with the planning involved here.
Can you navigate without issue through it?
Navigation is crucial to your web element, seeing as people often use their keyboards to make their way through a website. Not only that, but everyone who uses the internet likes to know where they need to go next to find out more information, or to discover a product they’ve seen you mention in passing on a landing page or a social media link. So you need to have clear signposts of what tabs to click on, and what images act as direct links to certain other pages you have tucked away behind your front screen.
Most of all, you need to think simply about the navigation on your website. The homepage should always be accessible, for one. You want people to always be able to hop back to it when they click on a wrong page, or if they need to start from square one again. At the same time, you want the back button to return them to the exact place they left off of – you don’t want them going through ten or fifteen different sub pages that hosted one image or product at a time. Your website doesn’t need this kind of slideshow element to it!
At the same time, you want your colours to stand out, to make sure no indirect link is fading into the background. People need to clearly see where they can click. You’ll also want a sense of cohesiveness around these colours – it’ll be far too distracting to have bright red in one corner and then bright green in another, with a dark blue background that hasn’t been seen since 2002. No one can navigate through a mess like that!
So, is your website up to the task?
And that task is informing customers about your company, and it needs a good foundation in order to do that. Your website is going to be working as hard as you to come up with the traffic your business needs at the moment, so don’t jinx its efforts in your attempts to stand out.
*This is a contributed post