Don’t let these mistakes cost you business!
We’ve often heard and used the analogy that your website is your shop window. No surprises there. As hard hitting as that message is, your website has an important job of representing your brand, communicating your proposition and drawing new customers in. If it’s not doing that very effectively then you might be making some mistakes that’s costing you business.
Here are some questions to ask yourself about your website.
Is your website outdated?
Believe it or not, we still see sites that have news stories that haven’t been updated for months or the site is so old it doesn’t even work on the latest browsers and devices like iPhone 7. You can have the best intentions, the best web design but if your site is out of date you won’t get out of the starting blocks.
Don’t leave users with a negative impression, they may think it’s outdated nature is reflected in your products, services or the way you do business.
How quick is your website?
You can very easily test your website’s loading time. Why is this important? Well, most sites lose half their visitors if it takes too long to load. It’s not just desktops you need to consider but loading on mobile devices and mobile internet connection.
According to Kissmetrics:
Jump onto Google test my site and check it out.
If your site is slow, you need to correct this as soon as possible. We have some tips on things that may be slowing down your site in the meantime.
Images are the biggest culprit for adding weight to a website as people tend to upload full resolution images and display them at 300px. If you can, you should resize your images to make them smaller before uploading. Tools like tiny png exist to reduce file size so try to keep the file size as small as possible. If you’re using WordPress, plugins such as WP Smush and EWWW image optimizer can resize for you automatically.
You need to make sure you have chosen a good host. It may be tempting to find a cheap £5 a month web host, but they won’t be able to handle large amounts of traffic. This means your site will become slow and may even go down as your audience grows. Invest in a quality web host, we usually recommend TSO Host.
Finally, reduce your transfer load by caching content. Caching exists so elements get temporarily saved on the user’s browser. For example, individual images will be cached so they don’t have to be downloaded online every time it’s viewed. They can be loaded from the users’ cache which means a faster running site. Gzip compression exists to reduce file-size of images, videos and HTML files which are like a .zip file on your PC. This greatly improves the speed of your website.
What does your website’s home page say to your ideal customers?
Typically your home page is the first thing your visitors see. What does your ideal customer think about your homepage when they land?
The most important thing to focus on is your target audience. Are they engaged straight away? Do they have immediate access to the information they need? Keep it simple.
Encouraging your audience to interact with your website is important, but distracting and overwhelming them with pop ups and multiple navigation menus is off-putting and may increase your bounce rate.
The common problem with web design is balance: balance of form over function and balancing integrated SEO keywords whilst maintaining a flow in your content. What is your priority?
How do you rate the content quality of your website?
Your content is king. We’ve even written a little book about creating compelling content that resonates with your ideal audience. It’s that important and all too often we see sites where the content is an afterthought.
Jump onto your Google analytics and see how people are engaging with your content. Where are the click throughs? Where is the drop off? Do your blogs get a lot of traffic? Do people stay and read more articles or leave after the first one etc. Your website bounce rate is a key metric for this.
So what is bounce rate? Bounce rate is the percentage of visitors to a particular website who navigate away from the site after viewing only one page. You want visitors to stay for longer.
A bounce rate of 26 – 40% is excellent, if you’re in this range you’re doing great. Industry standards say that 41% to 55% is about average. Anything higher than that and we suggest having a look at your site design, speed and content to find ways of reducing the bounce rate. After all, you’ve spent a considerable amount of time and effort getting visitors to your site, why let yourself down once they have arrived.
A high bounce rate indicates that your visitors didn’t immediately find what they’re looking for or that the site was overwhelming or too difficult to navigate. There’s a wealth of user experience (UX) design tools in our arsenal that we use to guide users – consistent fonts and use of headlines, a clear design with white space and well organised content in a hierarchy that flows. A good layout and outstanding content are sure fire ways to engage users and reduce your bounce rate.
In conclusion, your website isn’t the place to be making mistakes. It’s the first impression, that opportunity to connect with your target audience in your absence. Make it count.