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Let’s Not Scare Users Away This Halloween with Poor Website Design
Let’s face it, there are some rather frightening web design ideas out there. Whether your page failed to grab the user’s attention with relevant images or clear text, they likely hit the back button, never to return again. So how can we make sure users land on your page and stay there for more than just a few seconds? By implementing great design ideas.
Not sure which design practices decrease user experience? Let our web design experts help you out! When creating the layout and functionality of your site, you will want to avoid the following top 5 scariest mistakes:
1. Slow Page Load Speeds
Today, users expect results to be immediate. This means that the difference between a few milliseconds could effect user experience. Don’t believe us? Check out this study from Amazon that found every 100 milliseconds meant the difference of 1 percent in sales. This means that by improving their page speed time by just 100 milliseconds, they were able to increase total sales by a whole 1 percent. Google found these results to be consistent with their traffic as well. The company found that an extra half-second in search generation time dropped traffic by 20 percent.
How to improve page load speed time:
We recommend improving your page load speed by resizing images to 72 pixels per inch and putting no more than 3 or 4 relevant images on each page. However, if the page serves a gallery-type purpose, then there are exceptions. If you have a large, image-heavy site, you may want to consider using a content delivery network to improve page speed. Another way to improve page load speed is to reduce the number of plug-ins you use. Only use plug-ins that are essential to your site’s functionality.
Once your site has gone live, you can use Google’s PageSpeed Insights to determine your actual page speed. We generally recommend having a score of 80 or higher. Don’t forget to go in and check your page speed every one to three months and make any necessary changes to improve it.
2. Poor Mobile Friendliness
According to the Pew Research Center, 91 percent of Americans now own cell phones. Of these Americans, 68 percent use their phone to access the internet. With so many people turning to their phones for quick information and online purchases, it’s more important than ever to optimize your site for mobile friendliness.
How to improve mobile friendliness:
To increase mobile friendliness, simplify your navigation, make buttons easy to click, and only use images if they add value to the page. Because the screen is much smaller than a desktop screen, you have limited space to impress the user and provide them with relevant information. Also, don’t forget to check page speed on both desktop and mobile platforms. You may also want to consider investing in a customized mobile site that differs from your desktop version. This way, you can tailor your pages to meet the needs of users on different devices.
3. Poor Navigation
Don’t scare away users with a complex navigation. The main menu should be kept simple and easy to use. If users aren’t able to find what they are looking for within seconds, they will likely resort to a Google search that takes them to a competitor’s site.
How to improve navigation:
Have your target audience in mind when building out your navigation to provide users with the best results. To keep your site easy to navigate, a main navigation tab should include no more than 10 – 15 dropdown taps (depending on your services). Have you run out of room in your main menu? Keep in mind that not every page needs be put in the main navigation! You can also link pages to your site by creating hyperlinks.
4. Unclear Calls to Action
If your website is meant to market a service or product that you offer, it is very important to have clear calls to action for users. You will want to consider the point of your site. Do you want users to simply leave after gaining information, or do you want them to continue on to a contact page? If you want users to take action by clicking the next link, filling out a contact form, making an online purchase, or dialing your phone number, make your calls to action specific, simple, and easy to see.
How to improve calls to action:
Let’s start off by making sure you include enough calls-to-action on your pages. While there is no standard rule for the amount you should include, our SEO experts recommend scattering a few (about 2 to 3) through every page. Don’t overwhelm your user with hundreds of links and phone numbers, just make the information easy for them to find. For best practice, phone numbers should always go in the top right corner of the fixed header. We recommend putting this number in a bold color and larger font for better user experience.
5. Complicated Contact Forms
When a user finally gets to your contact page, make sure the process seems as simple as possible. Most users don’t want to commit to anything too extensive, so it’s a good idea to provide just a few key information boxes for them to fill out.
How to improve contact forms:
Contact forms should include a spot for users to fill in their: name, email, phone number, and a message. To increase security measures, you also have the option of adding a captcha code. What is a captcha code? It is the feature that requires users to enter a unique code to help avoid spam.
For best practice, simplify your contact form to include the following:
Avoid These 5 Scary Web Designs, and You Will Be on the Fast Track to Success!
If you’re ready to update your website, we invite you to work with our team of web experts at Blue Corona—contact us online or call 800-696-4690. Be sure to check out our website and let us know if we passed the scare test! Now have yourself a safe and happy October and keep the spookiness to your Halloween costume and away from your site…
About The Author: Blue Corona is a data-driven online marketing company with offices in Gaithersburg, MD and Charlotte, N.C.
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