Making Your Website Airtight
A website is a reflection of the brand it is representing, and if you’ve read What is a Brand, you know a brand is EVERYTHING! Retaining a brand’s quality through a website will be different for each company, but across the board, a website should be professional, informative, and stand out. Maintaining these tenants is as easy as making a few quick changes.
According to a study done for Behavior & Information Technology Journal, it takes about a 20th of a second for a user to decide whether they will stay or leave a website. Judging a book by its cover is somewhat frowned upon, but when a potential customer is in the mix, first impressions are everything. Make sure your web page is attractive, uncluttered, easy to read, and loads immediately. Avoid using moving parts as much as possible. Too many effects or animated pictures could slow down a website, and customers expect a website to load immediately. Make sure that you keep flashing lights to a minimum, as they might trigger epileptic seizures and are primarily distasteful. The navigation bar should be evident and easy to use. When jumping from page to page on your website, the theme should be consistent.
Grammar and Spelling
When it comes to professionalism, spelling, and grammar is the barest of baselines that are expected. Not everyone will notice that you stuck an apostrophe in the wrong place, but a “teh” in lieu of a “the” screams that your business isn’t detail oriented. Grammar may be harder to catch or notice, but is worth a solid look-over to avoid embarrassment. A local eatery may have a banner “It’s time to eat kids!” Yikes. Save lives, use punctuation. It shouldn’t need to be said, but there’s nothing that’s going to turn off a potential customer more than information that looks like it was written by a man under gunpoint on a 2010 Nokia phone. Avoid txt speak pls! A fairly common mistake websites make when presenting large blocks of information is run-on sentences which are hard to follow along even if they make sense so make sure to always reread information posted out loud so you can catch mistakes like this and keep your information clear.
A web page should have everything interested viewers need to know about your business. That said, there should be little reason for them to leave your website. Once someone leaves a website, it’s rare that they will return. Minimize links that take users away from your website, even the links that are to your business’s social media. More importantly than minimizing links, make sure that the links you do have actually have, have a destination, and a correct one at that. Faulty links are unprofessional. Links should be checked yearly or after updates.
Design isn’t just what it looks like and feels like.
Design is how it works.
– Steve Jobs
A common mistake businesses make when designing their website is a failure to include a clear call to action. Take this situation as an example. A person may come to your place of business, become wildly impressed by your excellent product and/or service, and rush to tell their friends. Their friends, enticed by the enthusiasm that your business generated, go to your website to find out what the big fuss is about. Upon arrival, they see what your product looks like and they learn about the business and start to feel the hype. Your business has gained a customer, BUT ALAS! The customer is lost because there was no “order now,” or “book your appointment today,” or “make a consultation” button, and they were too lazy to leave their houses. Avoid this by making your call to action one of the first things a user sees when they enter your website.