Making a website “attractive” to visitors sounds superficial—that is, until you realise that the difference between visitors who bounce and visitors who stay is the same difference that exists between window shoppers and actual shoppers: it?s the latter that brings in the revenue. Consider this: a website that doesn?t convince visitors to stay once they arrive will have negated most of your content creation, advertising, SEO, and social media marketing efforts.
If your goal is to make your website more attractive, these are the 5 key elements you need to work on:
To make an impact, content must be both communicative and searchable.
According to Alice Elliott of Birds on the Blog, there are three things a visitor should be able to do on your site: recognise what you represent, understand your message, and act on it. Thrive Consulting Group?s three rules of communication should help you drive the point home:
- Use imagery.
- Keep it short.
- Tell a story.
Don?t forget to include a clear call to action. This is why your website exists in the first place; never lose sight of it.
Your content?s searchability, on the other hand, is a function of the different SEO strategies you implement, the end goal being maximum exposure via search engines. The basic rules of thumb apply: backlink from reputable platforms, update your site regularly, and use targeted keywords judiciously. Above all, make sure your website remains a spam-free zone.
Design is a tricky requirement because it?s so subjective. It?s important to accept on the onset that you won?t be able to please everyone, so rather than trying to do everything at once, focus on having your design complement your website?s most valuable element: content.
Designing with content in mind means making certain that your copy is readable, and that means paying attention to two things: colour and white space. Check if there is enough contrast to make the text on your site pop.
As for white space, the goal is to break up your content and minimise noise. This allows key points in your copy to really stand out, which further aids comprehension. You don?t want your core message to drown in a sea of clutter—either visual or aural.
The lesson here is balance. Find a happy medium between bland and over-the-top, and you should be good to go.
Even though design is important, a website doesn?t have to be especially pretty to be attractive to visitors—just look at Facebook and Google! What these two lack in aesthetics, they make up for in usability.
What makes a website usable? According to UX consultant Flow Bohl, a usable website is one that meets the following user experience design objectives:
Is there a logical arrangement to your pages? Are there language and visual cues to help visitors feel their way around? Is it easy for visitors to find what they?re looking for? Is there harmony in the tone of voice and visual style used throughout your site? Can visitors find their way back if they happen to click on the wrong link?
If you answered “yes” to all of these questions, congratulations! You?ve got a usable website.
Other goodies you may want to incorporate include social media integration, which is practically de rigueur for websites these days, and sticky navigation, which cuts down on inactive surfing time.
On the internet, every second counts. People are time-poor and for every second beyond 2, your visitor will be inclined to hit the back button and head to a competitor’s site. The following graph from KISSmetrics shows the relationship between site speed and page abandonment:
Every bounce is a lost opportunity, and this translates into very real figures. Web Hosting Geeks puts the impact of site speed into more tangible data:
- Mozilla: went 2 seconds faster, had 15.4% more conversions
- Amazon: went 0.1 second slower, lost 1% in sales revenue
- 40% of visitors abandon ship when page loading takes longer than 3 seconds
Mobile Internet use is expected to overtake desktop browsing within the year, which is why responsive web design matters. And as if that weren?t enough, Google is all for it, too. These are the two biggest benefits of responsiveness: first, it guarantees a great user experience regardless of device, and second, it eliminates the need for Google to crawl and index multiple versions of the same site.
It?s difficult to separate user experience from the opinion your potential customers will form of your brand. If you want people to like your company, get them to like your website first. Polishing these five elements may sound like a tremendous amount of work, but the trade-off is huge.
Kapil Jekishan is the Digital Strategist & Content Crafter for Webquacker. He is focused on content and design to help generate targeted leads for businesses. Say hi to him @KapilJekishan
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