So, you launched your site. You were aiming for a home run, but sadly you are 2 strikes down in front of Google’s entire audience. You can hear the crowd booing, calling your site ‘the trampoline’ because its bounce rate is so high. You think you might throw in the towel. Your plans for web-success are dwindling. You don’t know what to do next. You closed your eyes and prayed to the web-gods for a sign. This is their answer. This is your sign. We will give you what you need to make it online, but it’s going to involve a little effort from your end so get your notes ready. Like all great journeys this one starts with acceptance. Your site is weak. Accept it. Your website is a clutter of jargon jumble, a heap of horrible html vomited onto a tiresome template. We’re going to keep this as short as possible because you need help, fast. (before you end up here). Be quick, use our 9-factor checklist to ensure your user experience (UX) is more engaging than Disneyland in December. This is going to keep you in the game. Go!
1. Your brand might suck
- DUDE, WHERES YOUR LOGO?
Make your logo visible. When someone visits your site for the first time, can they see your logo? It doesn’t have to take up half a page but it does need to be visible and not crowded by other design elements. Place it in the top left corner and give it breathing room.
- COLOUR CLASH
Cut down on colours. Using too many colours on a site, or colours that don’t complement each other can confuse your visitors. Stick to a simple colour palette with up to four colours for your entire website. Here’s a simple example:
- STOP COMMITING FONTDULTERY
Cut down on fonts. Just as with colours, don’t go overboard with fonts. Use a small number of elegant fonts consistently throughout your website and blog. Also, use bold and italics sparingly.
- THINK BRAND, THINK FAVICON
Add a favicon. Do you know that tiny image in the tab of your browser, next to your page title? That’s a favicon and it helps people quickly identify and navigate to your site, especially when they have lots of tabs open. It can also make your brand sticky as the more people see your favicon, the more they’ll remember and associate it with your company.
If you have a WordPress site, read this article to learn how to create and add a favicon to your WordPress site. And if you’re a Cloudrovia customer using our Website Builder, just go to Settings in your site editor, and then click Site Icons to add a favicon to your site.
- BE CONSISTENT
Consistency is key. You know what makes a brand forgettable? Inconsistency. Make sure that your basic brand attributes such as colours, fonts, slogan, and logo are used consistently on every page of your website and blog (and outside of it, too).
2. Is your message clear?
- SPIT IT OUT
Make your headline clear and sticky. Does your headline make it clear what your business is about? Can first-time visitors understand and get excited about the solutions you’re offering? If not, rewrite your headline immediately to ensure that anyone who visits your site knows they’ve come to the right place.
- STILL USING SLIDERS? REALLY?
- DON’T DAWDLE
Get to the point. Your visitors are busy people. So, if there’s too much text on your web pages, they’ll get distracted and won’t know where to look or what to do next. Edit the content on your pages and only keep the information that’s necessary for visitors to understand who you are, what you do, and why they should buy from you.
3. Lacking Web Cred?
- SAY NO TO STOCK PHOTOS
Get rid of generic stock photos. Those photos with business guys in suits shaking hands or walking along growth charts won’t convince anyone you’re a professional or a trustworthy company to do business with. On the contrary, you might lose prospects’ trust because most people view them as “fake”.
Replace all those stock photos with authentic ones. Or, better yet, take your own photos. It’s easier than you might think.
- BLOW YOUR OWN TRUMPET!
Show off your reviews and awards. Are you an award-winning small company? Do people love your graphic design or construction services? Why are you not bragging about it? Shame
Sure, you can have a dedicated testimonials page but make sure to also put some of those testimonials, reviews, ratings, and awards on your homepage for everyone to see. This is an effective way to build a sense of trust in your website. And it’s trust that compels visitors to take that next step and do business with you.
4. Your content is hard to read
- THIS ISN’T A NOVEL, WE SCAN
It’s a well-known fact that most people don’t read online. We scan.
So when a visitor lands on a page, the first thing they do is scan and try to divide the content into digestible chunks of information. They do this so they can quickly determine if the content is relevant to their needs.
Here is some advice on how to format your content to make it easy to read and scan:
- CHOP IT UP
Break it up. Your content may be great but if it’s difficult to read, no one will. So break it up into sections, then add subheadings to summarise the content and improve readability.
Make use of bullet points. Another effective way to make your content easy to skim is by turning long paragraphs of text into a simple list of bullet points.
Increase white space. Let your visitors (and your content) breath by increasing white space between lines and sections. It makes the content easier to read, especially if you have a lot of text on your pages.
5. Your layout/theme is a poor fit
- REMEMBER YOUR PURPOSE TO YOUR VISITORS
Optimise layouts for natural scanning patterns. According to eye-tracking studies, users scan pages in an “F” pattern. This means that we usually read the first few lines and then we start skipping down the page, only catching parts of the message.
Since we’re more likely to give our full attention to the text or the items near the top of the page, make sure you put your most important message, product, or service first.
6. Is your navigation overwhelming?
- TOO MANY OPTIONS, NON CHOSEN
Reduce the items in your navigation. If you have a menu that looks like the one in the example below, you need to fix it right away.
Navigation menus with too many choices often lead to no choices at all. Why? Because visitors get distracted and confused, then give up and leave.
So, review your site’s navigation and remove any unnecessary pages. Only keep your most important product categories or services. Then simply link to secondary pages from your main pages
- BROKEN LINKS
Fix those broken links. You probably have broken links that show visitors a “not found” message. Don’t worry, every website has a few. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t fix them. Broken pages hurt visitors’ experience on your site and their trust in your business. So make sure you fix them right away.
7. Is your on-page SEO straight garbage?
- GOOGLE BOTS CAN’T READ THAT
Optimise your title tags and meta descriptions. If you’re not familiar with these tags, they’re bits of HTML code that tell search engines and users what your site is about. Title tags and meta descriptions are also important because they show up in the search engine results when people are searching for your business. So, when used properly, they can act as a “hook” of your advertising in the search engine results.
So, get writing and optimising these essential elements using keywords that are relevant to each web page on your site. Need tips and advice? We’ve got you covered with a beginner’s guide to writing title tags and meta descriptions that get clicks.
- SHRINK FOR SPEED
Optimise your images. Many site owners forget or skip this step, and that’s probably because they don’t know what they’re missing out on.
From attracting users to your site who are running searches directly on Google images to reducing site load time and boosting rankings, optimising your images is a must. This guide to optimising images for search engines shows you how.
Speed up your website. If your site takes more than a few seconds to load, you’re not only providing a bad user experience but might also lose revenue. How much? Research shows that just a few seconds can put your website in the top 94% of the internet. Here’s how you can get your site up to speed.
8. Give direction early
- DO IT NOW
Call out your call-to-action (CTA). If you don’t have a prominent CTA on every page of your website, you need to fix that. A CTA needs to be a button, not a text link, and it needs to be visible so no visitor is confused as to the next step they should take.
- 1 IS ENOUGH
Cut down on CTAs. The most common issues with calls-to-action are either the lack of one or an overabundance of them.
A CTA should help guide visitors to the next step. If there’s no call-to-action, they won’t know what to do or where to go next. If there are too many CTAs, it can be confusing not knowing which one to click.
Our advice? Try to stick to no more than two different CTA buttons on any web page, no matter if it’s the homepage, a product or service page, or a Contact page.
- MAKE YOUR LINKS OBVIOUS
Make links look like links. At first glance, can you see the links on this page? Probably not.
Don’t hide your links. You have no reason to. On the contrary, you want visitors to click them to visit other pages on your site. So make them obvious. Use the colour blue. It’s what users expect to see.
- FORM-FORM IS SHORT FORM
Optimise your forms. No one likes to fill out forms. People just want to download that resource, buy that product, or receive a call back from you. If your forms are overly complicated and long, most people will give up and leave your site.
Make it easy for prospects to do business with you by keeping your forms short and simple. Considered removing any extra field where you’re asking for customer information you don’t actually need or plan to use. Click here to get an audit of your site template compared with the top sites.
- BE UNIQUE WITH YOUR OPT-INS
Experiment with your opt-in messaging. Want to build or grow your email list? Try communicating different benefits and using different CTAs to entice visitors to sign up for your mailing list.
A simple example would be to replace a call-to-action like “subscribe” with one that says “sign me up”. You can find lots more ideas in this post on how to build your email list.
9. You’re not engaging enough
- SO, WHAT NEXT?
Make it obvious how to get in touch. Many of your prospects will have questions or concerns. Don’t make it difficult for them to get the answers they need.
- OUT OF (WEB)SITE, OUT OF MIND!
Make your contact information visible, including phone number, email address, and physical address (if you have an office or a physical store). If you sell lots of products or expensive ones, consider adding a chat feature so prospects can get their answers as quickly as possible.
Providing visitors with a great user experience is critical to your batting average. As you can see, you don’t need to completely redesign your swing to improve your website and make your visitors’ experience an easy and pleasant one.
You’ll be surprised just how much of a difference these little changes can have on you hitting that ball out of the park & achieving business success online!