Do you want to generate more leads with your website? Is your conversion rate lower than you’d like it to be? Or perhaps your business is expanding, and your online marketing techniques need to evolve. You may have even entered new markets, and now you need to rethink how your website engages with its visitors.
These are just a few reasons why you might consider redesigning your website, but before you do so, you need to have an understanding of the problems with your current site and set clear objectives for the new design.
It’s a good idea to start by listing the pros and cons of your existing website to give you a better sense of direction. And while you’re investing the effort to improve your website, here are red flags to look out for:
1. Not a goal in sight
Make your business goals the focus of your website redesigning project. This will help give it a better approach. When identifying your business goals make sure to filter them down to their very essence – generic goals like “I want to grow my business” will hardly suffice in this context.
When you find yourself hitting such dead ends, strip the fluff until you’re able to come up with an articulate, measurable goal. Probably something along the lines of – “I want to grow my leads by 20X over the next six months”.
When defining your goals, keep in mind that they need to be realistic and achievable within the timeline you set for yourself. An unrealistic goal will do more damage by discouraging you and your team, even as you try relentlessly to achieve it.
You must also consider your visitor’s journey through your website – what you want them to see first, what action you want them to take before they leave your website and how you can nudge them in the right direction.
2. Poor navigation
Generally, good navigation is understood to be one where a visitor is able to browse through your website without being confused, or thrown off track. But, there’s more than that to navigation – if navigation were a 3D object, user-friendliness would be just one of its dimensions; the other two (less obvious ones) being conversion rate and search engine ranking.
To ensure that your site’s navigation works in your favor, always keep it standard and consistent. Creativity can give you an edge over your competitors, but trying to get creative with your navigation could increase your bounce rate. Definitely not a desirable outcome, that!
If you’re committed to making your website functional and easy to use for your visitors, you could also use tools like OptimalSort to help organize your site better. This will also help you understand how your visitors would intuitively browse through your website.
One of the thumb-rules of effective navigation is to have fewer items on the main menu. Too many tabs on the menu, or worse, too many items on drop-down menus not only frustrates the user but also irks search engines.
3. Lengthy registration forms
Registration forms are a common lead gen technique. They could be effective if they’re used well. However intrusive, lengthy forms will only leave your website visitors annoyed. Imagescape is the evidence of the effectiveness of shorter contact forms – they increased their conversion rate by 120%.
Also, pay attention to the CTA button on the form. Studies have shown that using the standard Submit button could cause your conversion rates to drop by nearly 3%. Use action-specific CTAs like “Make an Enquiry”, or “Register”, are more effective since the user knows exactly what clicking on that button will do.
When creating a form, be sensitive about how much information you’re asking your visitors to disclose. Avoid asking for their phone numbers unless it’s absolutely essential to your sales process. Forms with a phone number field have shown a lower conversion rate.
4. Not-so-rich content
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is critical for website visibility. When the content on your site is optimized it’ll appear higher in search engine rankings, ensuring that your target audience finds you easily.
Keyword insertion is a common practice in SEO writing. It refers to writing content in a manner that aligns it with predictable search queries. However, simply sprinkling these phrases to improve keyword density could lead to your website being penalized by search engines like Google.
The key to effective content lies in your ability to consistently create useful, well-researched content that will interest your target audience. While your web pages should focus on your business, you could leverage your blog to establish thought-leadership in your industry.
5. Too much or too little white space
White space or negative space refers to the spaces on a webpage that aren’t covered by any text or design. However, it isn’t essentially white in color. For instance, if the color of your webpage is a light grey, or a bright red, any space that is unoccupied is the negative space.
It makes the page easy on the eyes and also helps keep the focus on whatever it is that you want to highlight. It also improves readability and creates emphasis on the layout of the page. In effect, you can improve engagement and reduce bounce rates by assessing the white space on your web pages.
A healthy balance of text, design elements and negative space will also help lower bounce rate. You can improve negative space usage by analyzing and refining the margins, keeping them consistent in most circumstances, and paying attention to typography and micro-level spacing.
6. Not responsive
Responsive web design is being hailed as an industry best practice, with major search engines like Google giving you brownie points for being mobile-friendly. In fact, Google even backs an open publisher ecosystem called Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) that aims to bring significant improvements to how the mobile web performs.
Mobile optimized sites are basically those that run on mobile with the same URLs and HTML codes as their desktop counterparts. If sites aren’t responsive that means Google will have to crawl, index and rank multiple versions of the same site. Using responsive design ensures that your website is device agnostic and delivers the same user experience across phones, tablets and desktops.
Source: Google Play Store
7. Poor typography
If your content is hard to read because the individual letters are too close together, or the typeface size is too small, your visitors will act in one of two ways. They will either struggle to read through the text (unlikely), or they’ll leave the page in a blink (more likely).
This will not only lead session durations to drop but will also leave a memory of an unpleasant experience in the mind of a potential customer. Considering that typography constitutes a significant chunk of the design, you need to ensure that it is consistent and appealing.
These are just a few things you should keep in mind if you’re going to give your website a makeover. Are you planning on redesigning your website any time soon? What challenges are you expecting to face? Share your thoughts in the comments below.