You’ve heard the expression “you only get one chance to make a first impression,” right? Well, it holds true online, too. There are some things that improve usability and some that also hoist a reg flag on your site whenever people visit your site, so this is what you will learn in this post.
In this post, you will learn
- How to avoid common mistakes in your website design that can drive visitors away.
- How to make sure your pages load fast, make your site mobile-friendly, and generally accessible, and increase the quality of your content.
To build a website that people will love the first thing you need is speed. Internet users aren’t famous for patience – including you! and if your pages take too long to load, they’ll leave – we all do anyway.
However, there are lots of technical things that you, or whoever builds your website, can do to speed things up, like choosing the right technologies and hosting solutions. But there are also some simple fixes.
- If you have images on your pages, use the smallest ones you need. Ditch large, high-resolution files if they’re only going to appear as thumbnails. Plenty of software programs can resize or compress images to make them smaller, and this translates to faster loading times.
- Simplify your design. Generally, the more you limit what your visitors’ browsers have to download and re-use, the faster pages will load. Use the same background image across many pages, and ask whoever is building your website to be efficient with code and scripts. If you want to test how you’re doing, try opening the site on your mobile – using a data connection, not WiFi – and see how quickly it loads.
- Mobile friendliness: make sure your website is easy to use on mobile phones. More and more people are using their smartphones as their primary device for browsing the web, and if your site is difficult to use on these devices, you’ll potentially lose customers. And will obviously not rank high on Google SERP
The easiest way to have a mobile-friendly website is to build it that way from the start, using an approach like “responsive design,” which automatically detects the type of screen being used and displays the site accordingly—doing things like stacking text and photos vertically on a smartphone being held upright.
If you want to get a sense of whether your site is mobile-friendly, try Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test tool.
- Keep in mind things like swiping or tapping, which are unique to touchscreens. Be sure the components of your website respond properly to these kinds of “inputs.”
- Using widely recognized icons and making content clear and well organized will help visitors using smaller screens to find what they need.
- Make it easy for visitors to find you either through your address or phone number. Many devices are equipped with GPS and mapping features, which can help visitors on the go. And of course, when accessing your website from a mobile, it should be easy for visitors to give you a ring.
- Search Engines Optimization: Your website should be accessible and usable on all search engines. You’ll also want to remember that people will be viewing your site on different browsers—like Chrome or Firefox—and different platforms, like Windows or Mac. Do a test run from as many computers, devices, and browsers as you can. Does your site look right in every case? Are you prompted to download plug-ins? That’s an extra step that may send visitors away.
- Last, remember that your website is not just for selling—it’s for solving. Of course, selling is the goal but Your content should be written to solve the customer’s problem not only to sell to them.
Imagine you’re a visitor. Ask yourself, why am I here? What am I trying to do? What problem am I trying to solve?
For example, if you own a bakery that makes custom cakes, someone is probably visiting your site because they need one. You could write pages about your decorating style and inspirations. But a testimonial and photos from a real-life customer might be a better bet.
So those are some common mistakes that trip up many websites. To avoid them, make sure your pages load quickly, and look and behave properly, no matter what device and browser a visitor use. And think of your customers when you create content. Answer their needs, and you have the best chance of bringing them in.