In a world where the Internet is where customers first encounter your business, it’s vital that your website is up to date and prepared to offer the best user experience possible. If not, you’ll lose potential customers before you even realize they visited your website.
No matter how much work you put into gathering leads and spreading your brand’s awareness if your website isn’t user friendly or can’t step up to the challenge set by your competitors, your business is going to suffer. Regular website improvements are an easy solution to this, though, and can save you a lot of hassle and distress in the future.
Unfortunately, it isn’t always easy to know how, when, or where your website needs to be improved. While every website will differ in where and how it needs to be improved, there are a few things that can always be updated.
Here are essential tips for improving your website in 2022 from a professional web design agency.
#1. Have a Strategy
If you decide to just dive right in and try to improve your website without a strategy, the results are going to be both disappointing and disastrous. Just like every other aspect of running a business, you’ll need to have a strategy when improving your website.
Your strategy doesn’t have to be a complex plan with 101 steps to complete. Your website strategy can be as simple as identifying a problem or two and coming up with a possible solution.
You don’t need a bullet point list that spans three pages in order to have a well thought out strategy. Instead, identify the things that need the most improvement, write them down, brainstorm and come up with solutions, and then stick to them. Having a strategy will simply help you stay on track and prevent you from losing sight of what your original improvement goal was. Having a concrete strategy backed up by an experienced UX consultant would even provide a solid plan of which steps to start from.
#2. Remove Distracting Content
It’s always a good idea to have captivating images and fun animations, but there comes a point when it’s just too much. Websites that are full of stock photos or have animations that pop up every few inches are too busy and frustrate customers. While you should make your call to action and contact information readily available, don’t shove it in their faces every few seconds.
Removing distractions ensures that your users don’t lose interest in your website before they discover your product, service, or call to action. In a world where the average attention span is eight seconds, you need to quickly direct your users’ attention where you want it.
Every animation and image on your website should serve a purpose. If it doesn’t, then it’s likely just serving as a distraction and should be removed. Too many things on a page can make a user feel overwhelmed and they’ll quit your website.
#3. Simplify Navigation
You want your website to stand out, we know. You’re not the only one who wants this, though, and coming up with a navigation system that you think is fun and creative is not always the way to go. In fact, if navigating your site isn’t possible in the way that users expect it to be, they’ll get frustrated and leave no matter how creative you make it.
There are some aspects of your website that you shouldn’t make too unique, such as navigation. Users want to know how to navigate any given webpage and if your website doesn’t meet their expectations, they’ll go somewhere else.
If you really do want to change your website’s navigation, make sure you keep it simple and intuitive. Any icons you use should be easily recognizable by any new user and should take them where they expect to go.
Don’t use a home icon to take users to a page that talks about how you design breathing houses. Don’t use a magnifying glass for a page that talks in depth about your business goals.
If you’re going to use icons for buttons, make sure they lead where users expect them too. If you’re worried an icon might not be recognizable or may confuse users, then choose something else. Sacrificing an icon choice or two may just save you from losing customers and help lower your turnover rate.
#4. Optimize for Mobile Devices
Mobile devices dominate the internet. They hold over 57% of the market share and are only expected to increase with time. As such, the decision to not optimize your website for mobile devices will be devastating for your business.
Just under 50% of all online traffic in the US is completed through mobile devices which means if you don’t optimize your website, you’ll miss out on a huge portion of your audience. What’s more, Google will actually penalize your website if it isn’t optimized for mobile.
Although Google’s SEO standards aren’t public information, it’s well known that mobile optimization plays a key role in how well your site is ranked within search results. Choosing to overlook this will have immediate and disastrous effects on your website’s rank.
#5. Take Advantage of Color Theory
Perhaps this is an old trick, but it’s worth mentioning. Colors are important in your website’s design and can have an impact on how customers view your business. By taking advantage of basic color theory, you can influence your customers’ perspective of your business and affect their decision making.
While choosing one color over another won’t be the deciding factor in whether a user chooses to buy a product from you, it can impact how positively they view your business.
Additionally, color theory can be used to help render your website more aesthetically pleasing by helping you choose complementary colors.
Part of owning a website is staying on top of the ever changing regulations and keeping your website up to date. If you fall behind on updates or ignore minor bugs, you’ll encounter much more difficult problems in the future and may even lose customers! By regularly improving your website, you’ll increase your odds of growing your business and spreading your brand’s awareness.
WRITTEN BYSerena K. Johnson