We live in a distracting digital time where attention is scarce and interest is fleeting. So when it comes to attracting users to your website and keeping them there, it’s important to provide what they want, quickly and efficiently. There are a number of reasons why people leave a website, and it’s our job as business owners to recognize these hurdles and optimize for a better customer experience.
We’ve all been there. You land on a website, thinking it has the answer to your question only to find the navigation is anything but organized. You’re not sure where to go, so leaving and trying a different source seems like your best option. Not only does an unclear layout create frustration with your audience, it’s also damaging to your site’s SEO. Website navigation should be laid out so that it is logical and easy to understand. Don’t scatter main links so that they’re hidden within body copy. Instead, group them in a central area such as near the top of the site and again in the footer. If your homepage includes large visuals, make sure to define what they are by using clear calls-to-action about what users should do next. Direct your audience as much as you can to the answers they’re searching for.
Design is Out-Of-Date
Everybody knows the expression “judging a book by its cover,” and website design is no exception. A study done by the Department of Psychology at Northumbria University found that 94 percent of participants based their uneasiness and distrust of websites on the websites’ appearances before they read the content. There’s no “magic number” when it comes to how often websites should be updated, but because the Internet changes at lightning speed, it’s important to keep up with new trends and technologies. Unsure if your website is outdated? There are many clues to look for.
Ever visit a website only to be forced to give your email before actually entering? It’s a physical barrier that no one wants to deal with. It might seem like a great way to gain new emails, but users are more likely to go elsewhere for what they’re looking for than to give out their personal information. If users must register before entering your website, provide a preview of what they’re about to see. Try featuring a video or some quality information. Give them a reason to want to stay on your site by showing them they’ll find what they’re looking for if they sign up first.
Not only is it important for website content to be relevant and informative, but it also needs to be visually legible. The fonts, colors and backgrounds you choose determine how easily users can read and concentrate on your content. Although there are no particular fonts you should avoid, it’s important to choose color combinations and clean font styles for best results. Also consider how your font will look on mobile devices as well on desktop computers. To ensure readability font size should be, at minimum, the browser default size of 16 pixels (100 percent).
Plugins help browsers process special types of web content, like Flash. And if your content is completely tied up in Flash, visitors are not going to spend their time installing updated versions of this outdated plugin. Even YouTube ditched Flash to use HTML5 video by default. If your website features a number of videos and animations, give HTML5 a try. And as always, improve user experience by providing a short summary or transcript of each video. Using plugins and add-ons are fine, but remember, the more you use, the more time you have to spend keeping up with new technology trends.
According to HubSpot, 55 percent of visitors spend less than 15 seconds on a website. Although that sounds discouraging, we have to remain confident that we are implementing the best practices for our websites to ensure user satisfaction. At Sage Island, we know how to design websites so they engage users and provide the best answers to their questions. We’re ready to help your website make a statement with your audience.
Mike Duncan co-founded Sage Island in 1997, and since then has evolved the agency’s scope to include marketing strategy, creative design, technical development and a wide range of digital marketing services. With an integrated approach that leverages the power and measurability of the internet, the savvy Sage Island team develops strategies, builds brands, writes killer copy and delivers to clients all over the world. And they have an awesome time doing it. Sage’s collaborative working environment keeps creativity and innovation at the heart of the concept. With a 17-year history in Wilmington and beyond, Sage Island shows no signs of slowing down. To learn how Sage Island can grow your business, check us out at www.sageisland.com. To stay updated on the latest in digital marketing, follow Sage Island on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SageIsland, and on Twitter at twitter.com/SageIsland.
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