Flowers are blooming and the sun is (finally) making an appearance! It’s already that time of year again, and you know what that means…spring cleaning. This doesn’t just apply to that favourite pair of jeans that you just can’t let go of or the tools that have been gathering dust for years in the corner of your garage. It applies to your website, too!
We’ve all seen sites that don’t intuitively make sense or that are visibly confusing, but what many people don’t know is why. Here at FluidHosting, we’ve compiled a list of the most common mistakes people make when building a website and how to fix them. So pull up a seat and take notes.
“Don’t forget that competition on the web is just one click away!” says Dzhuliana Nikolova, one of our expert developers and creator of Themoove.org, a nonprofit designed to help small businesses with web design. Don’t send customers running.
Here are three things you can do to make your website more appealing:
1. Simplify, simplify, simplify!
Navigation, design, words. Your customer shouldn’t have to have a PhD to navigate your website. This relates to what is called “User Experience,” and requires that you think through each step someone in your target customer base would have to take to make a purchase, from the time they type in your domain to the time they type in their credit card number. If you can’t access the important parts of your website in three clicks or less, it’s probably too complicated. Here are some questions to ask yourself to help clarify: What is the purpose for each of the items on the menu? Is it clear what my company does/sells immediately upon landing on the site? What do I have to do to purchase the product or service? This should be obvious. If it’s not, how can it be fixed? Don’t forget design, though. The goal is to make it as easy to use as possible without being too minimalistic, which can also come across as unprofessional. And finally, take out as much technical jargon as you can. A ten-year-old should be able to get the gist. Enough said. Here’s an example of one of our recent projects:
2. Make it mobile-friendly.
In today’s world, it’s very likely your potential clients will be checking out your company while on a conference call in the parking lot of their kids’ school. Let’s face it. Multi-tasking is the not-so-new trend, and there is never
enough time in the day. Your mobile interface is vital to the success of your online presence. If this is complicated or visually overwhelming, or worse yet, you don’t have one at all, now I the time to correct it. This is something
your web developer should walk you through if you have one. If you don’t, this would be a good time to talk to someone in the field. Here is a great place to start: Mobile Friendly Test
3. Update content.
This is pretty self-explanatory, but it’s always good to click through and make sure your website is up-to-date. Do you have new products that should be listed? Is that promotion from Halloween still hanging out on the landing
page? Do all of the hyperlinks lead somewhere? “Page not found” is the last thing you want to see. Show your customers that you care about the details by making sure your website reflects your company as it is right now. In
fact, you should do this a few times a year.
4. Check website performance.
At the end of the day, one of the most important aspects of a website is its performance. Is everything functioning how it should? There’s nothing worse when a customer is trying to do some last-minute shopping on your site, and
the cart takes too long to load. Let’s face it. Our attention spans are shrinking. Here are some easy-to-use options to help you evaluate:
So set aside an hour or two to go through your website. Whether you sell custom furniture or high-tech spy gear, think about who your customer is and look at things through their eyes. Make sure that the website you’re presenting to the world is the one that best reflects the heart of your brand, because this is the season where new growth doesn’t just happen in the garden.