When people arrive at your website for the first time they start making judgments – that’s human nature.
- Do the pages load quickly so there is no finger-tapping and sighing while the images manifest?
- Does it look attractive, modern and up-to-date?
- Is it easy to see what you offer?
- Is the text focused and persuasive?
- Can they find what they want quickly and without a degree in solving puzzles?
These are all generated by the design and development process.
Images that sizzle
You’ll need images – they give your website life and energy. Nobody wants to read lengthy chunks of text with no decoration and images help to reinforce your message.
However, it’s important that, just because you have a huge high-resolution image, you only use a version that is good enough for the website. Big files slow the website down and nothing frustrates your visitor more than having to wait for the page to load, every time they move to a new page.
A good website builder will check your images are sharp, but only as big in file size as they need to be.
The look and feel of your website is what makes that important visual first impression. If your site has an outdated style and layout, people make subconscious judgments about the kind of business you have. Most of us are strongly visually influenced, so this is an important part of the equation.
This is one reason why your website needs a refresh every few years – to give it a smart, current look.
Before your website is built you’ll need to decide what goes where. This will dictate your sitemap – the plan of what all the pages are for and how they are arranged on your menu. It will also reflect what goes on your home page, in what order.
Don’t let your web designer get too creative! While it should look attractive, it should also be clear – so the visitor can see what’s on offer quickly and know they’ve come to the right place, without having to scroll far and read much.
Get the message right
Most web builders are not copywriters – and neither are most business owners. However, the content on your website is important for three reasons:
- It tells the visitor what they need to know about your products or services.
- It fuels the search engine optimisation by featuring the right key words and phrases.
- It persuades the reader to take action.
We don’t write copy for our clients – but we recommend they get a professional copywriter to create their content. If you do this your website will get you better results.
What’s UX? It’s the trade term for ‘usability’. In a nutshell that means how easy it is for visitors to find what they want and navigate to where they want to be. It’s the difference between having a call to action that says:
Phone us now on 01376 402007
Phone us now (and hoping the reader will find your contact page and scroll down to discover the phone number).
It’s also about knowing what people want to do on your site and making it obvious so they don’t have to work hard.
Your website designer should discuss all this with you – and maybe do some UX testing with live humans!!
If you’d like some help with ticking all these boxes give me a call on 01376 402007 or email me for more information.
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