When you want to find out something, what’s usually the first place you go to look for it?
Nine times out of ten, the answer is search engines – and through them, we can access the relevant websites that produce services, products or relevant information. On the go with a mobile device, when traveling or during a coffee break with a tablet device, or at work or at home on a PC, most people visit several different websites on a daily basis.
How does your website compare? Is it giving your visitors the best impression of your products/services?
Here are 7 aspects to consider when designing or renewing your website:
1. User friendliness and ease of use
No matter what your choice of design may be, your website should always be clear and easy to use. An average visitor spends only 3 seconds on the webpage before deciding to read more or leave, so it has become increasingly important to remember: who does your website serve?
Your potential customers? Your existing customers? Or your own employees? Or perhaps all three?
A website that’s primary user base consists of potential customers has different requirements than a website that needs to serve all three user groups.
So first, identify your website users and what’s important for them, then start analyzing what they are looking from your website. Use that information as the foundation for what should be included on the front page, how much content you are going to have, and what sort of navigation will best serve your target group’s needs.
Remember, the very basics of a user-friendly website are clear navigation, easy to read content and the site’s responsiveness, no matter what you are using: pc, mobile, or tablet.
2. The importance of link paths
Linking the content of the webpages together enhances the user experience as well as providing better conversion. From the front page to the service offering and contact details, your website’s subpages / sections should be linked together to provide useful information, keep your visitors engaged with your website and increase your visitor retention rate.
If your website is geared towards potential customers, your link paths could be like this:
A short, concise link path like this answers potential customers’ needs and drives conversion.
3. Visitor-centric content
Depending on who your main group of visitors is, your content should answer their needs. Sounds obvious, right?
Yet, there are countless companies and websites that still focus on “we, our, ours” rhetoric. You know the tale: “we are x”, “our products do this”, “we have a history of that”. Now, while there is a certain logic to repeating your company’s brand names, values and general information, that’s the angle you use to convince your customers of their decision, not to attract their attention in the first place.
So, instead of putting them to sleep from information overload, wouldn’t it be much more logical to start by giving your visitors concrete reasons to keep on browsing?
In general, we can say that most website visitors have two questions on their minds:
1.) What will I get?
2.) What do I need to do to get it?
So, when creating content, focus on the benefits. Answer your potential visitor’s questions. And only when you have grabbed your visitor’s interest, then go on to convince them that your brand is the correct choice to meet their needs.
4. Responsiveness, oh responsiveness
Responsiveness means that your website scales to different pc screen resolutions, tablet and mobile resolutions automatically. These days, most website platforms are responsive by default, but some older ones need to be coded manually.
However, no matter the platform you are using, your website’s responsiveness needs to be taken into account when renewing it to make sure your visitors can view the content and get the best possible impression of your offering, regardless of the device or screen resolution they are using.
5. The road to happiness is paved with SEO
Search Engine optimization, or SEO, increases the chances that your websites can be found in search engines and, if done right, it can bring in a steady stream of new visitors to your website with no outlay.
The very basics of search engine optimization require you to identify the keywords your visitors will be using to find your website and then, using them in your website’s page title, URL, content body, image alt-text, keywords and Meta texts.
Easy. At least, in theory.
What makes the practical aspect of this a bit tricky is that:
- keywords are constantly evolving according to customer trends
- your competitors are also optimizing the same words
- SEO work can take up to several weeks to show results
- search engine algorithms are developing continuously and these days you also need to take into account correlating words and synonyms, as well as the click through rate of the website in the search engine result feed and your website’s visitor retention rate.
Because of these, SEO is not a quick and easy path to success. However, when done right, it is cost-effective and important for anyone who wants their website to receive free traffic from search engines.
6. Multilingual websites
If your website needs to serve visitors in several language versions, there are two very important points to consider on top of everything else in this list.
First is the navigation logic. The language versions need to be clearly present and easy to use.
Secondly, when website content is translated and localized, the new version is not automatically optimized for the target group’s language. Professional translators choose the best linguistic term to describe content. They use it through the translation without thinking in terms of SEO.
To take account of SEO when producing different language versions, it’s necessary to run the multilingual SEO analysis before the translation and use that as the baseline for the translation.
7. Website renewal is never over
Last, but not least, please remember that redesigning website is a never-ending process.
The platforms and technology are constantly developing, the browsers change, the devices change, the trends in design and even the customer needs and keywords evolve. The successful websites stay on top of the developments and continue to serve the visitor’s needs, where as those whose content stays static, slowly, but surely find that their visitor stream turns to decline.
How long has it been since your website was renewed?