Websites are more than digital brochures for your business. In fact, they can be built to drive lead generation through simplistic yet creative design, well-placed contact forms, and a positive user experience.
Website development best practices are consistently changing, however, and unless you have a designated team to devote to ongoing updates and maintenance, your website may fall flat.
If you are noticing your new and returning user analytics are becoming stagnant, you may need to adjust your website. Online audiences have high-expectations when browsing the internet. Ensure your website is meeting their needs by integrating these five optimization tips into your website strategy.
Utilize a Consistent Theme and Style
There are seemingly infinite options for website page templates, themes, color combinations, widgets, multimedia integrations, fonts, and more. It is easy to get distracted by flashy designs and exciting plugins, but more is not always better when it comes to website development. During the beginning stages of website design, your team should determine the number of templates that will be required, a color scheme of three primary colors (usually your logo’s colors), and a consistent style that will be utilized throughout your website. A well-executed website can have many different templates that seamlessly work together to achieve your objectives.
Make it Responsive
The amount of time consumers spend on mobile devices has significantly increased over the past several years. 65% of digital time is now spent on mobile devices, with only 35% of time spent on desktop. With mobile becoming faster and more available, there is no longer a question of whether or not websites should be responsive. Websites that still utilize the fixed image method of display are quickly becoming obsolete due to both user aversion and modern trends. In the spring of 2015, Google announced an update to its search ranking algorithm that penalizes websites that are not responsive. Ensure your audience can access your website no matter what platform they are utilizing.
Integrate an Intuitive Navigation
Once users access your website and are intrigued by a unique design, they need to know where to go next. Creating an intuitive navigation structure requires taking on the perspective of your audience. What topics are they searching for on your website? What paths might they take to get to designated landing pages where they can convert to leads? Some best practices include: standard navigation location, simplistic design, informative titles, and secondary navigations for supporting resources. Users should not be responsible for finding their way around your website; they should be naturally led from page to page through an exceptional navigation flow.
Engage Users Through Forms and Comments
User engagement drives contacts to convert into leads. The content on your website should give enough information to allow a user to learn about your business and how you can be of value to theirs, but leaves just enough unsaid to naturally guide the prospect to a contact form. Depending on the industry, a forum or comments section may be useful to grow conversation and build a contact list. Providing links to download eBooks, whitepapers, and case studies is another way to provide your audience with initial information when they are still considering potential partners and vendors. An efficient, clear way for users to communicate with your team members is an essential function for an optimized website.
Increase Retrieval Speed for User Devices
The internet age has brought about an expectation for instantaneous access to information. There is even psychological information behind response times for websites and the affect they have on the user experience. For example, a website that loads in less than a second imbues the user with a sense of power over the content. On the other hand, if the website takes around 10 seconds to appear, the user has most likely lost interest and is in the process of navigating away. Several website issues can affect the speed of your website, including poor hosting, out-of-date plugins, and unspecified caching metrics. Rarely is there a slowdown in website speed that cannot be fixed, as long as you have access to an experienced development team.
With each passing year, websites become more advanced and users become more demanding. Your business should have a process in place that involves the review of website content, functionality, and analytics to provide insight into where optimization will add value.
If you are interested in enhancing your website with Millennium Integrated Marketing, contact Linda Fanaras, or call 1-877-873-7445.