A website is only as good as its usability and creativity. No matter how much you populate your site with useful features or deals, if it isn’t both easy to use and attractive to your visitors then it isn’t going to be a success. Studies have shown that on average, your site’s users will spend 50 milliseconds before judging whether it appeals to them or not. That means that you need to ensure your website functions and looks perfect from the outset. We have put together a comprehensive guide so that you can rest assured knowing that your site’s usability and creativity is second to none.
Before starting any creative process on your site, you should check primarily that it’s running smoothly. If somebody lands on your site to find broken links or out of date information then you’re not likely to see them return. To stay on top of your website’s maintenance, either request that your digital team perform monthly audits of your site or, if you look after your own tech related matters, set a reminder each month to go through your site and run a short examination. Spending 10 to 15 minutes doing this every 4 weeks may seem like just another thing on your to-do list but this small test could prevent you from losing out on converting visitors to new customers.
Be sure to test the following:
Server uptime – you want to ensure that your site loads for every visitor (if any issues arise here then you’ll need to review your hosting).
Multi device optimisation – across the globe, upwards of 65% of all traffic comes from mobiles and this figure is only going to rise. To guarantee that your site appears for everyone, you need to check its usability across all devices.
Broken links – double check that there aren’t any broken links on your site. As tedious as it sounds, it’s worth it. Be sure that the information on your site is up to date, too. You don’t want to lose out on a customer simply because of an obsolete email address.
Whilst putting together a website, it’s key to remember the importance of simplicity. If your site isn’t straight forward for your users, they’ll find a site which functions more transparently. You don’t want to overcrowd your website, regardless of how interesting the content is so keep your site’s visitors in mind at every stage of the design and review process. Less is more when it comes to your homepage. Make your logo and your menu clear, the rest of the page should make what your business does known to the visitor immediately. Your other pages should follow a similar format, keep them bright and easy to read.
Clarity – stay within your brand guidelines to preserve your recognisably and remember, less is more. Stick with one font and just a few different colours. Images and videos are a good way of sparking interest so be sure to integrate high quality pictures which fit in with your site’s guidelines.
Consistency – following on from clarity, you need to be consistent in upholding your brand’s image across your site and social platforms, too. You want visitors to see your logo or a written piece and say ‘I’ve seen these guys before, they know what they’re doing!’ and the best way to achieve that is by being consistent.
Flow – your site should function like a very simple map. Your visitors need to be able to find what they want within one or two clicks. If you’re not sure how easily navigable your site is for visitors then ask a few people who haven’t used it before to try and find certain things. This is a costless and very effective way of checking that each and every visitor will obtain the information they’re looking for on your site.
3. Creative Content
Your site’s content needs to provide its visitors with a benefit. If your readers are gaining something from it then they’ll come back for more, it really is as straightforward as that.
Find your niche – have a look at your competitor’s sites, what are they doing well and what gaps can you see that your site could cover? There’s never any harm in checking out the competition, in fact, it’s strongly advised if you want to find your niche.
Innovative – think outside the box. What kind of things do your target audience love to see and how can your site provide them with it in the most engaging way? Perhaps you could start a blog series with top tips from your industry or maybe you have a great idea for a string of podcasts or infographics. If you’re struggling with ideas, have a chat with a member of your current clientele or somebody who you’d like to become a customer to get their advice.
Utilise your team’s skills – never underestimate the enhancement your content can get from somebody else’s expertise. Ask your office or your partners if they have any keen interests which they think would be interesting for your site’s visitors to hear about. You never know what you might find out.
What are some of your favourite sites and why? Leave us a comment down below.