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Your Online Storefront: 10 Elements to Improve Your Website

By: ScottCox Tuesday August 21, 2018 comments Tags: algorithm, coding, google ranking, sales conversions, seo, social media agency, social media marketing, web design, website, user friendly, improve website

Is your website working for you or against you? We talk a lot about social media strategy, but your website is an equally important part of your online presence. Making sure your customers have a positive experience with your business online is essential to maintaining brand integrity and increasing revenue. Here are 10 elements of effective, high-performance websites:

website

1. Mobile Compatibility


According to a 2017 study, 77% of consumers use mobile phones. That means that many of your visitors will view your website on mobile. In this mobile-saturated market, it's important to make sure visitors on mobile can easily and clearly interact with your site. Your website developer should be able to configure your site so that it's easily viewed on both mobile and desktop devices.

2. User-friendliness for all users


Your website should make it easy for disabled, blind, and elderly users to interact with your business. Many of these users use screen readers to navigate the internet. While your site is under construction or renovation, check out the 508 website accessibility guidelines to see what configurations make it easier for screen readers to access.

3. Well-organized design and structure


The structure and design of your website is extremely important to ensure visitors can understand and navigate your page. The visibility of text, the logical flow of icons and buttons, and the overall visual appeal of the page greatly affect the effectiveness of your page. Make sure your color scheme contrasts enough so that all text is easily readable. Layout the buttons, pictures, and text in a way that moves readers along an informational path.

4. Clear and engaging content


The actual content on your page should be free from errors, informational, and concise to give visitors what they want quickly. Edit your text to make sure it communicates a clear and compelling message that readers care about. An irrelevant, wordy, boring, or grammatically incorrect text will lose readers' interest quickly. Rework your text until it pops!

5. Fast load times


We live in an on-demand world. Between live social media, streaming entertainment, and mobile devices, we're used to getting solutions fast. If your website doesn't load within a few seconds, most of your visitors will click away. The ideal load time is less than 4-6 seconds. Anything slower than that will cost you conversions and search engine ranking. Some things that affect load times are images that are too large and sloppy coding.

6. Consistency between browsers


Different browsers can read and display a website differently. Ensuring that your site appears the same across Chrome, Internet Explorer, Safari, and other browsers improves usability. Browser consistency is a small and simple detail, but it can have a big impact on your site's effectiveness and professionalism.

7. Simple navigation


Just as it's important your design and content should be streamlined and user-friendly, so your website's navigation should make it easy for customers to find what they're looking for. Most sites use HTML or JavaScript menus because they work well and appear consistent across browsers. Also, limit the number of menu items you use and opt instead for sub-navigation like dropdown menus. Clear headers, an effective search feature, good internal linking, a custom 404 page, and multiple categorizations of content are all ways of making navigation easy for users.

8. Correct error handling on a code level


When error messages appear, users want to know what went wrong. Handling errors well on a coding level protects users from glitches and slow-downs. Giving the right error message with details about the error help visitors understand and fix the problem. If you overlook error handling, your site's effectiveness and conversion rates could suffer.

9. Clean code


It may seem like a no-brainer, but ensuring you have clean code and mark-up are basic to your site's effectiveness. Making sure the internal workings of your website are industry-standard makes your site strong and more immune to bugs. It also helps with troubleshooting, load times, and browser consistency. If your website is having some of these issues, you'll want to go back to basics and work on your site's coding.

10. User-friendly forms


Forms are where your customers convert. If they aren't easy to understand and submit, you'll lose customers and revenue. Keep forms simple and relatively short with clearly labeled fields and tooltips and suggestions. Give users a message after they've completed the form, and use correct validation. Get your forms right and capture more conversions through your website!

Did you know we offer web design, as well as social media management and strategy development? If you need a website created or updated, we can help! Contact us through email or Facebook Messenger, or set up a consultation to talk with us directly! We can help you take your business to the next level online!

About the Author: ScottCox




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