How to Evaluate Your Website Design
The design of your website is critical to the ongoing success of your business. With visitors poised to click off to another site, how you deliver your company message will determine whether they stay and browse or leave with a bad taste in their mouth.
But what makes a good website design?
Well, lots of things. If a customer decides to go somewhere to make a purchase, there are a number of factors that make have put them off buying from you. It could be your site's functionality, navigation, colors, font size or even the hierarchy of information on the page.
Unfortunately there's no way of telling exactly why traffic departs, but dig a bit deeper and you may find the answer is as plain as the colors in your logo.
So here are some tips to determine whether your site is turning away customers.
Does the overall design match your company values?
I recently stumbled onto a site that sells superannuation. The logo for the business was bright yellow with royal blue stripes, a bit like a sweet wrapper or a sample from a jockey's silk shirt. It certainly did not say 'safety, security, wealth' as I imagine the company would have liked.
There are plenty of free color charts on the web, so take time to investigate what best represents your business or industry.
Are the key elements clearly visible?
Web Design companies tend to work on large screens and can sometimes overlook the fact that some customers are viewing your site on smaller devices. All essential functions should be immediately immediately, such as your company logo, high-level links, about us, search button and site map.
Privacy and shipping details should also be easily found so you do not look like you're hiding something.
Is the right information presented in the right order?
It is important to think like a customer when evaluating your own website. Consider how they are likely to navigate their way around the various sections of your site and what will make them progress to the checkout.
Supermarkets have been guiding people to key products for years. So should your website design company.
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Analyzing your content
There are lots of ways to analyze the content on your website. Customers surveys are a great way of better understanding what works and what does not, but it's not always easy to get information without annoying customers.
Here are a few tools specifically designed for website traffic analysis;
ClickHeat – open source tool to detect 'hot' and 'cold' areas of your website.
Pingdom – lets' you know how long each element on the page takes to load.
Page Speed Online – includes a report on mobile site best practices.
And here's one more tip for keeping the customer satisfied:
Advertising, auto play music and pop-ups should be handled carefully. All three can be heads for visitors (literally in the case of auto play music) and will often cause a drop in your website traffic.