Whether you have an online store or a brick and mortar storefront, your website plays a key role in attracting potential customers. An impressive website requires time and strategy to operate successfully and is key to drawing in the right clients and presenting credible, on-brand first impressions. A memorable and up-to-date site is especially critical for eCommerce brands who depend heavily on content and have high numbers of website visits.
If your website is already nailing these 12 steps, then we owe you a Congratulations! for your state-of-the-art site. But, if you winced at a few of these steps, it’s probably time to clear your weekend for a website refresh.
It loads quickly, without hesitation.
According to a user loading time survey, 30% of people said they would wait less than 6-10 seconds for a page to load before dropping off. Another 16% said they be out of there after 5 seconds.
Here’s the big one: 47% of consumers expect a website to load in 2 seconds. Page abandonment … it’s a real problem. Don’t let it be your problem. If your website loads slowly, it could be due to one of these reasons:
- Your theme is outdated or certain plugins could be conflicting.
- The code could be junk (excess spacing, inefficient codes, etc.).
- Your images aren’t optimized.
- There’s too much stuff on it.
Your site is on brand and up-to-date.
Your content is in line with your brand voice, your logo is up to date and your campaigns are modern and relevant to your target audience. If you’ve rebranded recently, be sure to update the look, feel and language of your site to match your new self. Or if you need some rebranding help, let’s get to it! Remember that your website is promoting you in the online world 24/7, so make sure it’s you.
Your design and images are modern.
Here are some things that’ll show your site has really gone through the “out with the old, in with the new” transformation:
- Use white in the appropriate places. Too much white space is boring, and not enough white space is overbearing. Find balance.
- Be simple when choosing background images as much as possible. Reducing the number of complex background images on your site will keep it looking clean and running faster.
- Display content in a boxed layout to create more whitespace and a cleaner look.
- Use round edges on images, buttons and anywhere else you find appropriate. They’re more appealing and put less strain on the eyes.
- Use bold typography when you have something to say and want to make sure it’s seen.
- Use transparent menus to allow focus on your content.
Navigation and site hierarchy are both user-friendly, from every angle.
You probably know your website like the back of your hand, but make sure it’s as easy for your customers to work their way around it too. Give your site a usability test and look at it from an outsider’s perspective. Depending on what a user is searching for, any page on your site could be their entry page. No matter what page they land on, the path to the rest of your site should be clear, simple and engaging.
Your website is mobile and all-browser friendly.
We live in a world where having a site that isn’t mobile friendly probably isn’t going to do you much good. With 60% of website traffic coming from mobile devices, it’s just the way it is now. If your site uses older themes, you might need to make some updates so all images, pages and anything else you have shows up correctly and looks awesome.
Be sure your site looks and functions the way it’s supposed to on all browsers too. Just because you swear by using Google Chrome, doesn’t mean every person that visits your site will too. No matter what type of device or browser your site is accessed on, it should run smoothly and spawn a positive experience.
You have a plan for broken links.
Every website at some point experiences a broken link. Whether that’s because of host switch over, plug in upgrades or something else, you should have a plan for investigating your broken links. We like Online Broken Link Checker.
Your contact information is easily accessible.
Sure, you might have a separate page for in-depth contact information and forms, but make the basic contact info blatantly clear. We’ve been trained to look for basic contact information in one of the four corners of a site. Choose a corner and make sure it’s easily readable on every page.
Your website comments are cleaned up.
If you have irrelevant or spammy comments taking over your website content, read through it and clean them up. Delete what needs to be tossed and make sure your community of visitors looks positive, constructive and engaging.
You publish and share consistent content.
Content keeps you relevant. Content makes you an expert. “Content is King” – Bill Gates, 1996. There are so many ways to create different types of content and switching it up is great for keeping people interested and wanting more. Here are some ways to spice up your content mix:
- Publish ebooks, webinars, infographics and worksheets.
- Post photos, portfolio pieces and slide decks from presentations.
- Have a blog and publish new content consistently. That can be once a week, twice a week or even once every two weeks — as long as it’s frequent, consistent and optimized, you’re doing it right.
- Create a podcast that you regularly air to talk to your audience. If that’s too much, find a regular podcaster and ask to be a guest on theirs. Then share it with your own audience.
- Post videos! People are drawn to videos because they require little effort and are easy to comprehend. Share videos that feature products, explain your business practices and daily routines or give tutorials with step-by-step instructions.
- Develop quizzes, questionnaires and polls that get people curious and excited to participate.
You have a content calendar.
In order to be consistent with your content, you’ve got to have a plan. Flesh out the goals you have and develop a content strategy. Then, create a calendar to you stay on top of what needs to be done so your audience can see consistency and knows they can expect their next bit from you soon.
You perform regular content audits.
Your goals and metrics may have changed since you first started creating content for your website. Revisit old content, categorize it, add additional information and updated facts and fix what needs to be fixed. The last thing you want is to deter your audience because of old, substandard content. And no need to overwork yourself by constantly creating new content when you have perfectly fine content that can be revamped, polished and freshly shared.
Be honest, did you pass? Maybe your blog needs some revamping or your designs just need a little polishing. If your website needs new life or you need a whole new site to improve your customers’ experience, buy us a beer and we’ll look at how we can work together.